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With Alabama passing one of the most pro-life laws in the country, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the other pro-abortion groups are continuing to say that a majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade. There’s plenty of writings and analysis that looks deeply into the flaws in the data. For example, Michael New writes, “One key talking point among many abortion-rights groups is that Roe is a decision that enjoys broad public support and should be considered settled. Indeed, a flurry of polls released in recent days by NBC News/Survey MonkeyKaiser Family Foundation, and Quinnipiac University all purportedly find that over 60 percent of respondents support Roe v. Wade.

These polls are all misleading for several reasons. First, a significant number of Americans are unfamiliar with the Roe v. Wade decision. A Pew Research Center poll taken in 2013 found that only 62 percent of respondents were aware that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion. Seventeen percent thought Roe v. Wade dealt with some other public-policy issue and 20 percent were unfamiliar with the decision. Furthermore, even many who realize Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion fail to understand the full implications of the decision. Many wrongly think that overturning Roe v. Wade would result in national ban on abortion, instead a reversal of Roe would return the issue to the states.

Additionally, many polling questions, including the recent questions by NBC News/Survey Monkey, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Quinnipiac University all fail to inform respondents that Roe v. Wade effectively legalized abortion on demand for all nine months of pregnancy and makes it difficult to place limits on late-term abortions. Historically, there has been very little public support for second-trimester or third-trimester abortions. For instance, a Gallup poll that was released this June found that only 28 percent of people thought second-trimester abortions should be legal and only 13 percent thought third-trimester abortions should be legal.”

Because of these misleading or incomplete questions, the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement, the research arm of Students for Life of America, commissioned a poll in January that did ask Millennials about Roe v. Wade, but provided the missing context, such as explaining how Roe has been used to justify allowing abortions up until the moment of birth. What did we find?

When given this context,

  • More Millennials than not support Roe’s reversal. Asked directly about support for overturning Roe and returning abortion to the states, 41 percent supported Roe’s reversal.

  • 65 percent of Millennials support the right to vote on abortion-related policy and want a voice on abortion policy

Having the right to vote on abortion-related policy can only happen when Roe v. Wade is overturned. Therefore, the real support for Roe v. Wade is usually over stated. You can learn more about polling of Millennials and abortion at the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement.

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Author: Matt Lamb

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