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What the Left Gets Wrong on Abortion Polling

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

As expected, the left’s response to the leak of the draft opinion of Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been quite unhinged. In between all their apocalyptic predictions about the potential end of Roe v. Wade, they’ve suggested that the Supreme Court not only ignored precedent but disregarded public opinion on abortion.

Let’s forget that public opinion is irrelevant when it comes to constitutionality and just unpack the issue of public opinion. Democrats insist that a substantial majority supports Roe v. Wade and abortion being legal. In one respect, they are correct. According to Gallup, 79% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all (29%) or under certain (50%) circumstances.

But, let’s put it another way. Based on that same poll, 70% of Americans either oppose abortion (20%) or favor limits on it (50%).

So, in other words, Americans’ views on abortion are far more complex than Democrats want you to believe.

They don’t want you to know that polling shows that their party does not hold mainstream views on abortion. But, of course, it wasn’t always this way. There was a time when Democrats truly believed that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Frankly, I believe that had the Democratic Party stuck with that mantra rather than going all-in on abortion radicalism, Roe v. Wade may not have been at risk of being overturned in the first place.

The Mississippi law at issue in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Despite all the outrage from the radical left, this law does reflect mainstream views on abortion in the United States.

“Six in 10 U.S. adults think abortion should generally be legal in the first three months of pregnancy,” explains Gallup. “However, support drops by about half, to 28%, for abortions conducted in the second three months, and by half again, to 13%, in the final three months.”

Not only does the polling show this, but abortion statistics do as well. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 89% of abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, while only 1.3% are performed after 20 weeks. A majority of Americans also oppose taxpayer dollars being spent on abortions.

Related: Biden Calls for Election of More Pro-Choice Lawmakers to Protect Abortion

To Democrats, abortion is sacrosanct. They believe abortions should be taxpayer-funded, that minors should be able to seek an abortion without parental consent, and that abortion should be accessible until birth. And we all know why. The abortion lobby owns the Democratic Party, and abortion is big business.

Democrats might also be surprised to know that the public is also about evenly split between those who identify as “pro-choice” (48%) and “pro-life” (46%). A slight plurality believes abortion is morally wrong (47%), while a minority consider it morally acceptable (44%).

So, while there is some truth to the claim that Americans generally support the right to abortion, that support is far more nuanced than blanket support for all abortions at any point during pregnancy under any circumstance. The Democratic Party, by being in the pocket of the abortion lobby, has consistently pushed for fewer and fewer restrictions on abortion, even though Americans’ views have remained overwhelmingly consistent over the years. Democrats are foolish to think they represent the mainstream on abortion. Once the dust settles, and Americans see the implications of the ruling (assuming the leaked version is more or less the same as the final ruling that will come later), I suspect Democrats will learn the hard way that Americans are okay with elected leaders, not unelected judges, making decisions about abortion.