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Polls show public wants pro-life laws, political scientist says

Michael New, a social science researcher and business professor at the Catholic University of America, appeared on “The Van Maren Show” to discuss the Supreme Court leaked draft opinion and polling data about Roe v. Wade.

“It does appear the Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade,” he said.

Even more, New “think[s] all the backlash, and all the protests, and all the demonstrations may actually have the effect of cementing this decision rather than weakening it,” because the Court does not want to appear to capitulate to public pressure.

Roe v. Wade legalized abortion on demand in all fifty states in all nine months of pregnancy. That’s a policy position that a very small percentage of Americans support,” he said. “Poll after poll shows that Americans support limitations on third-trimester abortions, second-trimester abortions.”

In response to claims that the “majority of Americans want Roe to be upheld,” New drew on his knowledge of polling and statistics to explain the problem with polls.

“One of the frustrating things I deal with as a writer and researcher is these polls that keep coming about how Roe v. Wade enjoys strong public support,” he stated. “All the polls suffer from the same flaws.”

He said:

The first flaw is that they don’t really explain that Roe v. Wade effectively legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy in all 50 states. That’s something the polls don’t make clear, and again, that’s a policy position that is kind of shared by a relatively small percentage of Americans.

The second flaw is they don’t explain what happens when Roe is reversed. Maybe you think that if you overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion is banned. That’s not the case. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it goes back to the states, and then state legislatures can make their own decisions about abortion policy in their respective states. But the polls don’t make that clear.

All the polls that claim that 60, 70 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade don’t really give us any indication of what Americans think about abortion.

What’s more helpful are polls about specific policy issues…It’s pretty clear that…over 80 percent of Americans think abortion should be generally illegal after the third trimester, over 60 percent of Americans think abortion should be generally illegal after the second trimester.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, New predicts “preborn children will be protected in roughly 20-30 states.”

New said that some women will travel out-of-state for abortion if it is banned in their state, but ultimately “you’re going to see a lot more babies saved.”

“If Roe is overturned, you will see a pretty substantial reduction in the abortion rate in the U.S,” he said.

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IMAGE: Students for Life/YouTube

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