In the wake of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, there have been a number of polls published that indicate there is strong public support for maintaining the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide. Some headlines have touted that even a majority of Republicans oppose overturning this landmark case. For instance, Fortune magazine reported that an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in July 2018 found that 71% of American voters – including 52% of Republican voters – expressed support for keeping Roe, while only 23% thought the decision should be reversed.
However, an article in The New Republic has put some context to the polling data and how the pollsters regularly overstate support for Roe and abortion. For instance, a Pew Research Center poll taken in 2013 found that only 62 percent of respondents were even aware that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion. Some 17% thought Roe dealt with other issues, while 20 percent were unfamiliar with the decision.
In addition, even many of those who are aware that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion fail to understand the impact of the decision. Many wrongly think that overturning Roe v. Wade would result in a national ban on abortion, when actually it would just return the issue to the states.
Further, many of the opinion surveys fail to inform respondents that Roe v. Wade effectively legalized abortion on demand for all nine months of pregnancy and made it difficult to place limits on late-term abortions. Historically, the vast majority of Americans have continued to oppose abortion in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Accordingly, public support for Roe v. Wade drops significantly in opinion surveys that feature well-designed questions which fully explain the Supreme Court decision.
MY COMMENT: In my book Floodgates, I note that an annual Gallup “values & beliefs” survey taken every year since 2002 has found that the percentage of Americans who believe abortion is morally right has never exceeded those who believe it is morally wrong. This all means that the majority of Americans support abortion even though most of us still believe it is morally wrong. That is the very definition of moral compromise! And the tragic result is that we are allowing the murder of roughly 1.3 million babies per year – in a nation where safe, effective methods to prevent pregnancies, such as pills and contraceptives, have been readily available and affordable for decades. Roe v. Wade was a death sentence against millions of innocent infants and we simply look the other way. Even so, God is storing up His judgment for this grave sin, just as in the “Days of Noah.”