Despite Roe's obvious transfer of power from democratically elected legislatures to an unelected oligarchy, Americans continue to support Roe when polled. At the same time, Americans show consistent support for some restrictions on abortion, particularly late-term elective abortions. Why the inconsistency?
The answer is simple: Most Americans do not understand what Roe actually does. Most Americans believe (wrongly) that if Roe were overturned, abortion would automatically become illegal across the land. That is exactly what pro-abortion advocacy groups want Americans to believe. Dr. Wendy Chavkin, a professor at Columbia University who chairs Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, for example, states that overturning Roe would force "American women … to [go] outside the health care system and [act] like they're in a Third World country."
This is blatantly false. If Roe were overturned, the people in each state would decide abortion policy for themselves. Voters in California would decide abortion policy in California; voters in Alabama would decide abortion policy in Alabama. Some states would likely restrict abortion heavily; others would allow free access to abortion. Instead of a broad national answer dictated by the Supreme Court, we would have a plethora of answers dictated by the people.
But liberal Democrats, left-wing Republicans and liberal members of the Supreme Court are afraid of the people's voice on this issue. They view Americans as benighted provincials, Bible-thumping morons. They would prefer that the people sit down and shut up when it comes to abortion policy. That's why Judge Alito will remain silent when asked about Roe: If anyone like Judge Alito ever tried to give power back to the people on abortion policy, the reign of the elites would be at an end. Then what would Chuck Schumer and Arlen Specter do with their spare time?