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Tipsheet

Narrative Buster: New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support State-Level Abortion Restrictions

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Democrats and their journalist allies are in the process of convincing themselves that the Supreme Court's leaked decision supplanting Roe v. Wade will be an electoral game-changer. That may turn out to be true. It may not. Or, perhaps more likely, it will be a mixed bag that helps Democrats in some races, helps Republicans in others, and ends up being a marginal factor in most contests. One of the underlying assumptions of the "backlash" analysis is that the issue clearly favors Democrats overall, but fresh polling once again underscores that abortion-related public opinion is actually more complicated than that. New numbers from Fox News underscore the complexity and quasi-incoherence of public opinion on the subject. The poll shows that a substantial majority opposes overturning Roe – but majorities also support state-level restrictions recently implemented in places like Texas, Florida and Mississippi. This doesn't quite fit the Narrative, even though it's in line with years of abortion polling: 

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Re-read those results, then consider the tone and content of news coverage and social media posts. There's a disconnect, and it's gaping. In case you were curious, women favor the Mississippi and Florida-style 15-week restrictions by double digits. And then there's this

How to square the strong support for maintaining Roe with these other findings? I believe it comes down to a fundamental misunderstanding, driven by a decades-long misinformation campaign by abortion supporters and the news media to convince people that "overturning Roe" is synonymous with "abortion is banned." That is not true, as we explained yesterday. Roe falling means that states will again pass their own abortion laws, which will range from very liberal to very restrictive, with quite a few falling in between. The Mississippi law, which is featured in the Dobbs case before the Court, is very mainstream, by both American and global standards: 

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Even Texas' so-called "heartbeat" bill heavily restricting most abortions after six weeks ekes out majority support in the new survey. Neither of these laws would be permissible under the prevailing (for now) Roe (1973) / Casey (1992) regime. People say they want Roe to stand because they don't want all abortions to be illegal. Many of these same people would like to see various limitations put in place on the practice, which is only possible in various states if Roe and Casey are no longer binding precedent. Meanwhile, Democrats have decided that the smart political play is to force Republicans to vote on a bill "codifying Roe," which is actually a sham. The Roe/Casey precedent permits states to regulate and restrict abortions in multiple ways, including heavy limits after the point of fetal viability (which isn't exactly a strictly constitutional standard, needless to say). The Democrats' bill is a truly radical departure from the current permissive precedent, which is already a global outlier

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Republican messaging should be simple: The end of Roe does not mean the end of all abortion. States and representatives will once again form policies, including varying degrees of common-sense limitations in certain places. Democrats say they want to enshrine Roe in law, but what they actually want is abortion-on-demand, financed by taxpayers, up until the moment of birth – which very few Americans support because they're against flagrant inhumanity: 

Gruesome stuff. I'll leave you with a few...rather interesting word choices as the current debate plays out: 

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"Gutted -- like someone has died." 

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