Most Americans Disapprove of Roe Decision, Polls Show, by Phil Lawler

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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Jan 23, 2020

The headlines don’t convey the message. In fact the Washington Post story carefully points out that among the respondents in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, “7 in 10 said that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned.” Yet the polls released this week—and all the surveys of public opinion on legal abortion, dating back to the 1970s—clearly show that the majority of Americans oppose the policies that Roe set in place.

The Kaiser poll, and another Marist survey released this week, show that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that abortion should be restricted. True, only a small minority supports a complete ban on abortion. But few Americans—roughly one in four, according to these polls—believe that abortion should be legal under all circumstances. Even among those who identify themselves as “pro-choice,” nearly half—47%, according to the Marist poll—support some legal restrictions.

Yet today, under the legal regime established by Roe, for all practical purposes there are no legal restriction on abortion. Insofar as state legislation has established some modest protections for the unborn, those new laws have invariably faced court challenges, which cite the Roe and Doe decisions as support for unrestricted abortion on demand. Abortion advocates are right when they say that any effort to restrict legal abortion is a threat to Roe v. Wade.  ….