Roe and Public Opinion

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Michael New notes that Roe tends to poll pretty well. I went through the public opinion pretty thoroughly for my book on the right to life, and reached the conclusion that the numbers seem to reflect public opposition to a ban on all abortions with no exceptions for rape and incest. That is, when people are asked what they think of Roe, they answer based on their opposition to a flat national ban — which is what, in many cases, they mistakenly believe would result from a reversal.