At National Review, Dr. Michael New notes the number of polls that have analyzed Americans’ views on whether Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land. The problem with those polls is that most, if not all, either didn’t correctly explain what Roe actually did, or explained it incorrectly. (One company was even forced to walk back its poll for telling respondents that overturning Roe v. Wade would make abortion illegal — a complete untruth — rather than returning the decision to individual states to set their own laws on the matter, just as they did prior to Roe.) The best way to tell how Americans feel about abortion is to ask them not about Roe v. Wade, but about abortion itself, says New. He writes:
As I have pointed out previously, public support for Roe v. Wade is a very poor metric for measuring support for legal abortion. Many Americans do not know that Roe made it remarkably difficult for states to place limits on late-term abortions, and many are unaware that reversing Roe would return abortion policy to the states.
But a poll from Hill.TV and HarrisX, released last week, asked 1000 registered voters “about circumstances in which abortion should be legal.” And as you might imagine, the results were very different than what Roe v. Wade approval polls have purported to show.
New says that 55 percent reportedly want abortion either completely illegal or legal only “in limited cases such as rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.” 27 percent approved of keeping abortion legal in the first and second trimesters but not in the third, and only 18 percent felt it should be legal at any time pregnancy. In addition, a majority “of every age demographic felt that abortion should be either illegal or legal only in limited cases such as rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.” New says this has shifted since the 1970s and ’80s, when there were “large generation gaps in beliefs about life issues.”
It’s worth noting, however, that abortion is actually never necessary to save the life of the mother. Here’s a short video that explains why:
And interestingly, it seems that “individuals with more formal education and high income levels were more likely to support legal abortion than other demographic groups.” Even then, however, “49 percent of those with an annual income of more than $75,000, and 43 percent of those with at least four years of higher education, thought abortion should either be illegal or legal only in limited circumstances.”
In short, New notes that, despite how skewed polling attempts to make it appear, Americans actually agree with pro-life policies, as “most Americans favor some protections for the unborn and that pro-life policies poll well across a range of age groups.” This is encouraging news, and it means that pro-lifers must continue to educate the public on the humanity of the preborn child, and continue to reach out and support women and families who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies.