Despite the narrative of the abortion industry and its political and media allies, several recent polls show the majority of Americans agree the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade and return decisions about abortion to the states.
Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner observed a YouGov poll published last week found 64 percent of Americans believe the Mississippi law that is at the center of the Supreme Court case – one that bans abortions past 15 weeks of pregnancy – is either acceptable, as is, or not restrictive enough.
This week's YouGov/The Economist poll finds that 57% of US adults support legal abortion in most or all cases, while only 14% approve of an outright ban
The median opinion is that abortion should be banned except for emergencies sometime just after the end of the first trimester pic.twitter.com/a2XUh78J4W
— G. Elliott Morris (@gelliottmorris) May 4, 2022
The poll asked the question, “On the subject of abortion, at what point in a pregnancy do you think abortions should be banned?”
The responses break down as follows:
- 23% said abortion should never be banned
- 12% said abortion should be banned after six months
- 10% said abortion should be banned after 15 weeks – what Mississippi’s law mandates
- 13% said abortion should be banned after three months
- 20% said abortion should be banned after six weeks (heartbeat)
- 21% said abortion should be entirely banned.
“Add it together, and it means that 64% of people in the United States believe Mississippi’s law is either the right call or too liberal on abortion,” Carney wrote. “To uphold this law is to side with the opinion of nearly two-thirds of America on abortion policy.”
But Alito’s opinion wouldn’t end there. He would strike down Roe and thus return abortion to the states and to the democratic realm of lawmaking. Not everything should be subject to democracy, of course, which is why we have a Bill of Rights. But is it extreme to say, as Alito does, that abortion law shouldn’t be determined by the Supreme Court?
“Not at all,” the senior columnist added, noting, “Some polls suggest that most people in America agree with Alito on that score, too. Others show a split opinion.”
Carney pointed out the Washington Examiner commissioned its own poll 18 months ago that found an even split between Americans who think the federal government should regulate or ban abortion and those who think this is the job of the states.
Interestingly, a plurality of Independent voters responded states should have the power to regulate abortion.
Media and polling outlets reporting huge percentages of Americans saying they want Roe v. Wade to prevail are possibly either not sufficiently defining the terms involved in their questions, or respondents may not understand the premise of Roe and that a decision overturning the landmark case would return abortion issues to the states.
On Sunday, David Freddoso, online opinion editor at the Washington Examiner, reported CNN’s poll, taken after the May 2 leaked draft opinion – and one that asked respondents which party’s candidate they planned to support in November – found Republicans with a seven-point advantage.
This outcome is perhaps most significant in light of the fact CNN had polled on the same question just several days before the leaked draft as well, and found Republicans with a one-point advantage.
As Freddoso wrote, the poll’s results, post-leak, show “the largest GOP advantage in the history of CNN’s generic ballot poll.”
He summarized the significance of the poll and its timing:
The CNN poll is just the first indication — not proof, but evidence — that Roe has long been a paper tiger in the Democrats’ hands. The Supreme Court decision that forbids states from restricting or even properly regulating abortion is something that most people still tell pollsters they support, but they may not be too bothered when it’s gone and many U.S. states either abolish abortion or restrict it in a manner similar to European countries, just like the Mississippi law that is the subject of the Supreme Court’s impending decision.
A new Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll shows that a majority of Americans support legal limits on abortion. Learn more: https://t.co/phVpXiHX8A
— Knights of Columbus (@KofC) January 20, 2022
A Marist poll released in January was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, as it is each year on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. The survey found 71 percent of Americans support restrictions on abortion, including 49 percent of Democrats, 93 percent of Republicans, and 70 percent of Independents.
Respondents were also asked, “Which comes closest to your view of what the Supreme Court should do when it reconsiders Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling making abortion legal in the United States?”
The results from this question found 44% said states should determine the issue, while 17% said the Supreme Court should make abortion entirely illegal, and 36% said abortion should be legal without restrictions.
In summary, 61% believe the Supreme Court should either overturn Roe or make abortion entirely illegal.
When asked about taxpayer funding support for abortions within the United States, 54 percent said they are opposed, while 42 percent agree with it.
Additionally, 73 percent said they are opposed to using tax dollars to fund abortions abroad, while 22 percent support it. Those opposed to American taxpayers funding abortion overseas include 59 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice,” 55 percent who say they are Democrat, 95 percent who identify as Republican, and 74 percent of Independents.
Respondents were also asked if it is possible to have abortion laws that protect both a mother and her unborn child. In response, 81 percent said they believe it is possible, while 14 percent said laws must protect either the mother or the baby.
Among participants who said laws can protect both mother and baby, 76 percent label themselves “pro-choice,” 79 percent as Democrat, 88 percent as Republican, and 78 percent as Independent.
Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly of the Knights of Columbus said in a statement the organization’s polling “continues to show that over 60% of Americans reject the central holding of Roe v. Wade, and want to return the decision to the states or make abortion illegal.”
“Roe v. Wade was wrong when it was decided, and its legacy is the tragic destruction of more than 60 million unborn lives and countless wounded women,” Kelly said. “The time has come for America to turn the page on Roe.”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Pregnant Woman” by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.