Polls sometimes bring forth confusing conclusions. One from NBC News/Wall Street Journal on abortion did that.
It is not confusing to see the trend that the American public views abortion. Since 1989, Americans have leaned more and more towards opposing any attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. Seventy percent of Americans want to keep Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, the preceding question found that 41% of Americans don’t know what Roe v. Wade is. At least, when reminded, they remember it is about reproductive rights.
Almost all of that confused 41% goes to support of Roe v. Wade when informed what it is. That suggests that many Americans are taking choice for granted. They don’t understand how much it is under attack.
That isn’t the all of the strange poll results. Remember, 41% had to be reminded what Roe v. Wade is – the right of a woman to choose an abortion in the first three months of her pregnancy. Seventy percent support that decision. That means they should at least support the right to have an abortion under some restrictions.
Actually, only 54% believe that. Only 24% want Roe v. Wade overturned, but 35% want abortions illegal with exceptions, which means Roe v. Wade would have to be overturned.
Altogether, this means two out of five Americans don’t know what Roe v. Wade is, but when reminded six out of seven of that confused group support it. However, one out six Americans appear to support Roe v. Wade but want restrictions that makes it illegal.
Somewhere in there is hope, I think. At least abortion is moving in the same direction as same-sex marriage and marijuana. That makes three important social issues that put the Republican Party at odds with the majority of Americans. It isn’t just demographics working against the GOP. First and foremost, it is an ideology increasing out of step with the rest of the country on social issues.
Here is an interesting historical news clip from the 1970s when abortion was made legal.