Poll: Majority of Americans Want Roe v. Wade Changed or Overturned

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Posted: Jun 04, 2019 10:25 AM
Poll: Majority of Americans Want Roe v. Wade Changed or Overturned

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

Let's circle back to the results of a poll that Tim flagged over the weekend -- which once again demonstrates the yawning disconnect between the American people's views, and the abortion lobby-supporting cultural elites who dominate the entertainment industry and mainstream newsrooms.  We've written repeatedly about this gap, which shows strong majorities of voters favoring significant new restrictions on legalized abortion, some of which would merely bring the United States up to speed with much of the western world on this human rights front.  The latest Harris/Harvard survey further underscores this theme:

The poll, conducted online within the United States from May 29-30, 2019 among 1,295 registered voters, found that 41% of voters believe abortion should only be allowed in cases of incest and rape. 29% believe that abortion should be legal up until the first trimester.  The survey also found that just 6% of Americans believe abortion should be the allowed until the moment of birth, 8% of Americans believe it should be allowed in the third trimester, and 17% believe that it should be allowed in the second.

The Democratic Party has lurched into outright radicalism, widely embracing a shockingly extreme stance shared by only a tiny fraction of the American people. The poll finds that just six percent of the public believes abortion ought to be legal until the moment of birth, which is the explicit or de facto position adopted by nearly all of the Democrats running for president. The media largely fails to highlight or challenge this fringe view because the mainstream press is extraordinarily biased in favor of abortion rights, and it's consistently reflected in their coverage. One of the few outlets that deals with the abortion issue in a non-lopsided way is Fox News (where I work). Fox covered the stunning comments from the Governor of Virginia about infanticide, which many other journalists prefer to ignore -- to the point of pretending it's a lie to mention his verbatim quotes:


I'll also note that Illinois Democrats are poised to repeal a widely-supported ban on the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion, in which an often-viable baby is partially delivered, then killed mid-birth, as her skull is punctured and brain evacuated by a vacuum.  One can use all sorts of sanitized language to describe that heinous act (trying to police our language is a major priority of the abortion lobby and their media allies), but it is what it is. The reality of late-term abortion is unavoidably appalling, which is why its defenders so often deflect, euphemize, or ignore.  How much coverage have you seen of the Illinois bill?  Anyway, here's Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Senator and flagging presidential candidate, struggling to answer a woman's question on late-term abortion. Rather than address the actual issue, she attacks Fox, calls infanticide a "red herring," and eventually seeks rhetorical shelter by affirming Roe v. Wade, another dodge:


Supporting Roe is a pretty safe place to land for Democrats, as many polls show that Americans heavily oppose uprooting that 1973 Supreme Court decision. However, those results are often skewed by the many respondents who falsely equate overturning Roe with making abortion widely illegal, which isn't the case. Ending Roe would return abortion policy to the states, leading to a patchwork of different policies, tailored to vastly different electorates with vastly different value sets. Also, Roe-related questions are almost always binary, asking people whether they want the precedent maintained or overruled. The aforementioned Harris/Harvard survey added another option: Modification. When that option is on the table, Americans -- who widely support additional abortion limits -- suddenly become far less committed to the supposedly untouchable status of Roe v. Wade. Compare and contrast the focus of this headline with the new findings:

Forty-six percent of respondents said the high court should uphold the ruling in Roe if the issue comes before the justices, while 36 percent said the Supreme Court should modify the 46-year-old ruling. Eighteen percent wanted the ruling to be overturned altogether. But 49 percent expected that the Supreme Court would ultimately move to modify its position on abortion rights. Thirty-one percent believe Roe will be upheld, while 20 percent said that the high court will strike it down.

A poll from USA Today shows the country splitting 55-45 percent against the fetal heartbeat bills recently passed in states like Georgia and Louisiana (where it was signed into law by a Democratic governor). The paper frames this as a warning shot against ostensible Republican overreach, but think of it this way: Fully 45 percent of those surveyed favor laws that would outlaw most abortions starting midway through the first trimester, after the child's heartbeat is detected. It stands to reason that these people are disproportionately concentrated in places other than the Northeast and West Coast. In other words, the state legislatures currently being targeted for intense criticism are representing their constituents (Alabama's law is another story, in my view). Conversely, considering the data showing near-universal support for significant limits on legal abortion after 20 weeks, are blue state legislators actually upholding their voters' wishes by enacting extremist late-term abortion laws?  I'll leave you with this pushback against the latest dehumanizing rhetorical gambit from abortion supporters: