Polling on abortion reveals the complexities of the American psyche. On the one hand, the majority of Americans feel that abortion is morally wrong. Yet, at the same time, the majority of Americans poll in support of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion a legal procedure nationwide.
According to polling done over the past month by Gallup, 51 percent of Americans say that abortion is "morally wrong." Yet, according to a current poll done by Quinnipiac University, 63 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade.
Support of Roe v. Wade, however, is by no means unequivocal. Further polling by Gallup shows support for legal abortion "under any circumstances" at only 23 percent. The majority of those who support abortion feel it should be legal "only in a few circumstances."
What this polling data tells me is that most Americans are not supportive of the spirit of Roe v. Wade. The legalization of abortion under this decision was under the rationale of a principle _ a so-called "right to privacy." However, if most Americans agreed that legal abortion emerges as result of a fundamental right to do it, they would not respond in polls saying that it is immoral and should be legal "only in a few circumstances."
It's also sharp and clear from the Gallup poll that Americans are not happy about the moral state of our country. Only 19 percent feel that the current state of moral values in the country is "excellent/good", and 39 percent see it as "poor." With regard to the direction of our state of morals, 16 percent responded that things are "getting better" and 77 percent responded that things are getting worse.
I think the group of so-called moderate senators who cut the recent deal to defuse the nuclear device, which would have formally purged the Senate of the filibuster option on confirmation of judges, should pay attention to this information. That is, they should pay attention if they care about their political future.
It is crystal clear that Americans are unhappy and concerned with the moral state of affairs of our country. The central aspect of that concern, as it concerns our judiciary, is legal abortion, as defined by Roe v. Wade. This is what this fight over judge appointments is about.
The fact that most of our citizens see abortion as immoral, and that support for legal abortion is highly qualified, shows that there is underlying discomfort nationwide with today's legal regime governing abortion. Americans want change.
These sentiments were expressed when we elected a conservative Republican president and a Republican congress.