A headline from Friday at The Hill read: “Poll: Nearly half of Americans say Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade.”
Naturally, one would notice that means more than half feel differently than those who want to uphold Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the U.S. The poll, from Harvard CAPS/Harris provided exclusively to The Hill, found that 46% want the Supreme Court to uphold the ruling in Roe v. Wade if it were to come before them.
Thirty-six percent of respondents said the Supreme Court should modify Roe if given the option and 18% said they wanted the ruling to be overturned altogether. Certainly, far more people want Roe to remain as it is than to overturn it completely, but a majority of people don’t think it should be upheld completely.
Buried in the article is the statistic that “Only 8 percent said abortions should be permitted up until the third trimester, and 6 percent said the procedure should be allowed ‘up until the birth of the child.’” Considering how many Democrats have been recently discussing third-trimester abortions (and beyond) — and how many more Democrats refuse to say they would support a law against third-trimester abortion or infanticide — it appears they are on the wrong side of public opinion (by a longshot) on this one.
In addition, the poll found 49% of respondents believe the Supreme Court would face a new decision on abortion and would modify its previous position. Thirty-one percent said, in that case, they believed the court would uphold Roe, while 20% believed the justices would overturn the ruling.
Another question in the poll asked about current abortion laws. Thirty-seven percent said they are “too restrictive.” Thirty-four percent said the laws were “just right” and 29% said the laws were “too liberal.”
Further, 41% of respondents said abortion “should be allowed only in cases of rape or incest.” Another 29% “said it should be permitted up until the first trimester of pregnancy, while 17 percent said it should be allowed until the second trimester,” according to The Hill.
This poll certainly has something for everyone, but the main takeaway should be that Americans continue to disapprove of abortion during the third trimester. That point is clearly lost on the politicians discussing third-term abortions and even allowing a child to die after it has been born, as Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) suggested on a radio program several months ago.
Don’t expect this poll to stop any abortion proponents. A CBS poll published 10 days earlier found 67% wanted Roe v. Wade upheld, while only 28% wanted it overturned. That’s the number proponents will focus on, instead of the overwhelming majority who don’t want abortion allowed during the third trimester.
The phrasing used by The Hill is typical for the media, who routinely parrot talking points from Planned Parenthood. In rare instances, such as last Wednesday, those talking points will be debunked by a mainstream media outlet. Most of the time, however, they are simply amplified.