As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches, most people who were born a decade or more after the decision was handed down have no idea what it was about. Only 44 percent of Americans under 30 know that Roe had to do with abortion, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. They also appear more confident than their elders in hazarding a guess.
Sixty-three percent of respondents did not want to see Roe overturned (those who were ignorant of what it was subsequently had it explained to them by the pollster), and 53 percent said that abortion is “not that important compared to other issues,” up from 32 percent who felt that way in 2006.
UPDATE: The way Pew described Roe to respondents actually misleadingly suggests that it established a right to an abortion only in the first trimester. So, as Ramesh put it to me, “The Americans who misunderstand the ruling evidently include the poll designers and the respondents who listen to them.”