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Abortion Polls, Sheer Rubbish?

I am skeptical of abortion polling, on either side of the issue. The phrasing of the questions is always skewed, so it is difficult to get actual results.

That being said, I think the country is getting more pro-life every day. So when a new poll states that 60% of Americans think President Bush should appoint a pro-Roe judge to the Supreme Court, I wince. How much longer can we let the issue be framed in this manner?

Unfortunately, Americans are horribly civics-challenged. I would love to see how the question was framed, and whether or not it implied that overturning Roe would criminalize abortion in America. I wager that at least half the country, if polled, would say that they believe strking down Roe would end abortion in America. That, of course, is simply false and the pro-life community has to do a better job of communicating this fact.

If the decision were overturned, it would leave states free to construct their own abortion laws. Some would have more liberal abortion regimes, and others may ban it almost entirely. But, from my perspective, unless there is a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution, it is a state issue. I don't find the argument that there is a right to life for unborn children in the Constitution terribly persuasive, although it is certainly a credible argument.

Unfortunately, the pro-life movement would rather have abortion outlawed in one fell swoop so that it doesn't have to do the heavy lifting of persuading its fellow citizens of its evils, and then passing legislation. Hopefully, the movement will pick up on the civic-ignorance of its fellow citizens and actually start educating folks about what overturning Roe really means.


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