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The Non-Existent "Pro-Life" Majority

[ 2 ] August 10, 2009 |

Ed Kilgore notes a new Gallup poll making clear what was always overwhelmingly likely — the widely-trumpeted May Gallup poll showing a significant “pro-life” majority was an outlier. When public opinion has been as stable over the long term as it’s been on abortion, that’s always the safe bet.

In addition — since, as Ed implies, the “pro-life” term is, especially in this context, a largely vacuous one that doesn’t necessarily imply support for criminalizing abortion — it’s also worth noting that the public wants Roe v. Wade to be upheld by a roughly 2-to-1 margin:

The Supreme Court legalized abortion 36 years ago in the ruling known as Roe versus Wade. If that case came before the court again, would you want Sotomayor to vote to (uphold) Roe versus Wade, or vote to (overturn) it?

                     Uphold   Overturn   No opinion
Sotomayor, 6/21/09 60 34 6
Alito, 12/18/05 61 35 4
Alito, 11/2/05 64 31 5
Roberts, 8/28/05 60 33 7
Roberts, 7/21/05 65 32 4

As Ed says, somehow I’m guessing we’re going to hear a lot less about this than we did about the May outlier.

Comments (2)

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  1. [...] Roe v. Wade is, of course, highly popular. Second, I’d love to see evidence that Wickard was unpopular when it was decided. And third, [...]

  2. [...] being unpopular. Roe was popular the day it was decided and its popularity has, if anything, increased over time. Conversely, Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the federal ban on “partial birth” [...]

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