NBC/WSJ poll: For first time, majority thinks abortion should be legal in all or most cases

posted at 9:31 am on January 22, 2013 by Allahpundit

If you’re hung over from drinking the blues away on Inauguration Day, bad news: It’s time to open another beer. New numbers on the 40th anniversary of Roe:

According to the poll, 54 percent of adults say that abortion should be legal either always or most of the time, while a combined 44 percent said it should be illegal – either with or without exceptions…

In addition, a whopping 70 percent of Americans oppose the Roe v. Wade decision from being overturned, including 57 percent who feel strongly about this…

By comparison, just 24 percent now want the Roe v. Wade decision overturned, including 21 percent who feel strongly about this position.

Much of this change, the NBC/WSJ pollsters say, is coming from African Americans, Latinos and women without college degrees — all of whom increasingly oppose the Supreme Court decision from being overturned.

Before today the highest number NBC/WSJ had recorded for keeping abortion legal in all or most cases was 49 percent in 2008. When you drill down into that data, you find that the number who want abortion legal in all cases — no exceptions, presumably not even for late term — is 31 percent, which is also a new high. Say this for Obama’s new coalition — they elected the right guy.

As for overturning Roe, despite the sturm and drang of Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Americans have never been keen on doing so. Pew’s recent poll on abortion found 63 percent opposed to the idea; in 1992, the number was 60 percent. NBC/WSJ sees a bit more movement over time but support for the status quo has been constant through the years in their data too:

Why the recent uptick? NBC’s pollsters speculate it’s partly a backlash to the Akin/Mourdock rape comments last year, but I don’t know. My sense is that backlashes like that tend to burn out fairly quickly. Obama won and Akin and Mourdock both lost, so the “threat” of a post-Roe world has passed for abortion supporters. I think the likelier explanation, as noted in the excerpt, is changing demographics. Pew published a set of polls a few weeks after the election showing that the 18-to-29 group that got Obama reelected was also the age demographic most supportive of keeping abortion legal in all or most cases. They were also far more likely — 14 points more likely — than any other age group to say that government should do more than that government is doing too much. Imagine their surprise when they find out America can’t pay for the government it has right now.

Now that you’ve digested those numbers, try to digest this one. Exit question: Do these numbers augur the eventual end of SCOTUS confirmation fights over Roe? A newly elected Republican president would be caught between social conservatives in his base, who want the decision overturned, and pretty much the entire rest of the electorate, which doesn’t. Makes me wonder if GOP candidates won’t start veering away from the idea of getting rid of Roe via new appointments and pushing the idea of a Human Life Amendment instead. They could sell it is a true democratic solution, the way the Founders intended, knowing all the while that it hasn’t a prayer of passing.

Update: Almost forgot: If you believe Pew, a majority of the 18-to-29 group that’s now steering the ship of state and that strongly opposes overturning Roe doesn’t know which issue Roe v. Wade actually dealt with.

Update: Life News notes that the poll question is misleading in how it describes the core holding of Roe. Fair enough, but assuming that the question has been similarly worded over time, you’re still seeing support increase since the late 1980s for a ruling that protects abortion within the first three months of pregnancy. And the more generic question, about whether abortion should be legal all or most of the time, has drawn majority support in other polls as well. Scroll through Polling Report’s compilation of data over the past few years. In a Gallup poll conducted last May, 50 percent identified as “pro-life” versus just 41 percent who identified as “pro-choice.” But when asked whether abortion should be legal always or sometimes, 52 percent said it should be legal sometimes and another 21 percent said always. There’s room for some optimism in those numbers — the public may be open to greater restrictions — but there’s a lot of work to be done to build a majority for an outright ban. In fact, maybe this table from Pew is the most daunting of all:


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That’s because we know from the historical and legislative records that the founders intended for the First Amendment to broadly apply to all forms of speech. This isn’t the case with the 14th Amendment. It was written and signed into law solely in order to grant citizenship to newly-freed black slaves.

So you are saying that NO amendments have ever been expanded to mean more than when they were written?

melle1228 on January 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM

It demands / requires Federal legislation to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision, FIRST.

Assuming that Roe v. Wade is overturned, however that may happen, the issue would return to the states.

The argument here turns on whether the federal government would continue to have a role in the criminalization and prosecution of abortion after that point.

So you are saying that NO amendments have ever been expanded to mean more than when they were written?

melle1228 on January 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Of course they have. It happens all the time, but the conservative judicial philosophy is that it shouldn’t, hence the continued debate on judicial activism and overrreach, the Constitution as a “living document”, etc.

Armin Tamzarian on January 22, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Guns, god and gays. The three Gs.

And the social cons are losing on all fronts. It will take awhile for those wars to be over, but in 50 years or so, social cons will be in the very small minority and those items will not even appear as topics in America. Eventually, they will become as disconnected from the country as Fred Phelps.

Must suck to be angry all the time these days. Angry at your own country. Angry at your president. Angry at your neighbors. Angry at the world, actually. But like I said, they have an ace up their sleeve, these social cons. And their ace is an omnipotent being who agrees with them on all these important issues, and who will descend from the clouds and smite everyone – or just about everyone. And they so look forward to it – the deaths of billions. The rivers will run red they are promised. But not with their blood of course. Because their god agrees with them, they get a pass. And naturally, their god also is the only god in town. Everyone else’s god is a figment of the imagination.

Must be sweet. When you’re not angry, that is.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

It was just as dumb the first time you posted it. Excitement by repetition?

tom daschle concerned on January 22, 2013 at 8:24 PM

tom daschle concerned on January 22, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Lots of laughter. Just for insight, I clicked on your name, and – yup- it goes to a whacky evangelical website. Even tried to hijack my browser. LOL.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

ROFLMAO. And in 50 years the utopia you think you are ushering in…won’t be. Know why? Because you’re a phucking idiot. Take the change and shove it up your ass.

HumpBot Salvation on January 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governe

davidk on January 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Actually your whole rant sounds a little angry. Are you projecting?

melle1228 on January 22, 2013 at 8:36 PM

ROFLMAO. And in 50 years the utopia you think you are ushering in…won’t be. Know why? Because you’re a phucking idiot. Take the change and shove it up your ass.

HumpBot Salvation on January 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Utopianism is the delusion of liberals and the religious. Realistic people do not expect to usher in anything close to a utopia. A functioning federal government with well-defined boundaries vis-a-vis its citizens and states is the best anyone can hope for.

Armin Tamzarian on January 22, 2013 at 8:37 PM

…So much has changed since January 22, 1973. Ultrasound machines are ubiquitous, adoption is both common and regulated, and the horrors of our culture of death are being exposed.

The opinion of Roe v. Wade reads like the flat-earth society. The justices say that there is simply not “meaningful consensus” about when life begins, as there is no real way to know what is going on in the womb at the early stages of pregnancy. That produces a dividing line as comical as it is artificial; a legal ruling that says whatever is happening in the first trimester, it certainly can’t be considered life.

People don’t believe that anymore. The legal reasoning of the decision is flawed and widely mocked by people on both sides of the aisle. The medical reasoning given is so outdated it almost seems quaint. Today’s world has ultrasounds, in utero surgery, NICUs for premature babies, and YouTube videos of babies’ hands reaching from the womb. There remains no plausible defense of abortion on demand, other than simply that the children and/or pregnancy would be inconvenient, and thus the murder of the child is permissible.

INC on January 22, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Armin Tamzarian on January 22, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Utopia belongs to the Left, not to the religious, if by religious you mean Christians.

INC on January 22, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Because their god agrees with them, they get a pass…Must be sweet. When you’re not angry, that is.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Wow, sweetheart…you need a mirror and apparently a hug. I think you understand nothing about those whom you mock, and it seems to me you don’t even want to try to understand that we are not angry. We are afraid of what soulless, gutless, clueless people like you are doing to this once great nation.

redmama on January 22, 2013 at 8:42 PM

redmama on January 22, 2013 at 8:42 PM

A whole lot of projection from that one.

HumpBot Salvation on January 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM

But the states and local governing civil authorities can’t currently legally intervene in an abortion-murder, thanks to the idiots who were on the SCOTUS for the Roe vs. Wade decision.

It demands / requires Federal legislation to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision, FIRST.

Then state and local authorities can begin handling it legally as a “murder”.

listens2glenn on January 22, 2013 at 8:07 PM

.
Assuming that Roe v. Wade is overturned, however that may happen, the issue would return to the states.

The argument here turns on whether the federal government would continue to have a role in the criminalization and prosecution of abortion after that point.

Armin Tamzarian on January 22, 2013 at 8:13 PM

.
Prosecution should remain right where it is today for murder.

Local, local, local. Depending on a given set of circumstances surrounding a particular murder, it could go to the state.

As far as I’m concerned, implied criminalization of abortion begins with the Declaration Of Independence, but the Fourteenth Amendment goes beyond “implied” to definitive.

listens2glenn on January 22, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Guns, god and gays. The three Gs.

And the social cons are losing on all fronts. It will take awhile for those wars to be over, but in 50 years or so, social cons will be in the very small minority and those items will not even appear as topics in America.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

.
I don’t hardly think any of that is true, but I still defend your right to say it.

listens2glenn on January 22, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Guns, god and gays. The three Gs.

And the social cons are losing on all fronts. It will take awhile for those wars to be over, but in 50 years or so, social cons will be in the very small minority and those items will not even appear as topics in America. Eventually, they will become as disconnected from the country as Fred Phelps.

Must suck to be angry all the time these days. Angry at your own country. Angry at your president. Angry at your neighbors. Angry at the world, actually. But like I said, they have an ace up their sleeve, these social cons. And their ace is an omnipotent being who agrees with them on all these important issues, and who will descend from the clouds and smite everyone – or just about everyone. And they so look forward to it – the deaths of billions. The rivers will run red they are promised. But not with their blood of course. Because their god agrees with them, they get a pass. And naturally, their god also is the only god in town. Everyone else’s god is a figment of the imagination.

Must be sweet. When you’re not angry, that is.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Hmmm … I don’t think you actually know any evangelical Christians. Even with fundamentalists, the judgment you speak of is something their theology tells them they are to hope is forstalled so that all can be “saved.” You really do have a cartoonish view of others. I think you need to see that most people are more complicated than your simple characterizations.

studentofhistory on January 22, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I think it’s great that the country is moving away from the social conservative nonsense. This poll made my day. Eventually, the two political ideologies vying for the White House will be social democrat vs. libertarian. The GOP will be dead. The social cons will go back under the rock from which they came – relegated to standing on street corners with signs proclaiming that their angry god is gonna punish America. Fred Phelps is a pioneer. You wait. lol.

Guns, god, and gays will be as relevant in 50 years as the Temperance movement, Suffrage, and Prohibition.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Still laughing at you scooter. Repeating it 3 times isn’t gonna make it true or even interesting.

HumpBot Salvation on January 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

HumpBot Salvation on January 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM

.
Utopianism is the delusion of liberals and the religious. Realistic people do not expect to usher in anything close to a utopia. A functioning federal government with well-defined boundaries vis-a-vis its citizens and states is the best anyone can hope for.

Armin Tamzarian on January 22, 2013 at 8:37 PM

.
I can’t speak for other religions, but there’s no excuse for Christians believing in a “utopia” on this side of the “Second Coming”.
Jesus warned things would get rougher in the “last days”, and in the next breath He said not to panic over it, because He forewarned us it is coming.

Also, I’m not even sure the word “utopia” applies to what Adam and Eve had in The Garden of Eden, before the “falling away.”

listens2glenn on January 22, 2013 at 9:02 PM

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

.
Still laughing at you scooter. Repeating it 3 times isn’t gonna make it true or even interesting.

HumpBot Salvation on January 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

.
But feel free to keep saying it anyway, because we need the amusement.

listens2glenn on January 22, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Guns, god, and gays will be as relevant in 50 years as the Temperance movement, Suffrage, and Prohibition.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Oh, oh … history lesson time! I love this. The temperance movement and prohibition were started by the religious AND the progressives. Both were a result of a combination of New England puritanism (Southern religious groups had much less problem with booze – hence the combination of moonshine, fast cars and Southern Baptists that birthed NASCAR) and progressives who saw drunkeness as a blight on “civilized society” – kind of like how progressives today want to restrict what you eat or if you can own a gun. The New England puritans who were most enthusiastic about temperance and prohibition were the Congregationalists (today known as Unitarians) and Northern Presbyterians (today known as Presbyterians USA) – you know, the liberal groups.

As for the Suffrage movement, that too was a combination of religious and progressives … and they won. The arguments against womens suffrage came from intellectuals as much as from religious conservatives. Women weren’t thought to have the mental capacity to vote or were too emotional. These weren’t religious reasons – in fact, they were backed up by the “science” of the day. So, come back when you have a better grasp of history.

studentofhistory on January 22, 2013 at 9:39 PM

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Still laughing at you scooter. Repeating it 3 times isn’t gonna make it true or even interesting.

HumpBot Salvation on January 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

You noticed that too. KTC is a deranged hater and bigot.

CW on January 22, 2013 at 10:04 PM

There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.

Our nation is slouching into technologized paganism. If America thinks that unborn children are not human unless they are wanted, how long before that particular class of sub-human becomes chattel for slaughter? We sacrifice them to our convenience; why not sacrifice them to science and progress?

spmat on January 22, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Gonorrhea, Government and benGhazi:

The Libtards are losing on all three G’s

SparkPlug on January 22, 2013 at 10:15 PM

There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.

Our nation is slouching into technologized paganism. If America thinks that unborn children are not human unless they are wanted, how long before that particular class of sub-human becomes chattel for slaughter? We sacrifice them to our convenience; why not sacrifice them to science and progress?

spmat on January 22, 2013 at 10:04 PM

That is the direction that most “progressive” nations go. Once the masses simply become numbers without value, they can be disposed of for the convenience of those who are of “value.” Hence the Nazi disposal of “mouth breathers” (i.e., infirm, mentally retarded, blind, etc.). I noticed on Drudge that Sir Attenborough is accusing humanity of being a disease again. Such an enlightened man … . The funny thing is that many people support such nonsense because they think they will be in the “valued group.” Many intellectuals thought that when Russia became a soviet state. They found out that when we only value specific groups, the groups valued are apt to change. Lenin and Stalin killed many an intellectual and university professor because they were not “valuable” to the state. Today, it’s the unborn. Tomorrow, infirm, the old and the sick. Then the politically undesireables. The absurdity of it is that it has all happened before, but profressives like KTC never seem to learn.

studentofhistory on January 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Tell me something, why don’t “Health Classes” in High School show that video?? Instead of the Planned Parenthood approved video where the nice looking lady comes on the screen and happily explains to all the young ladies in the room that having that child that they conceived in stupidity is sometimes “just not an option for you” and that there are “alternatives…”

powerpickle on January 22, 2013 at 9:45 AM

There is only ONE “alternative” that’s ever mentioned: ABORTION. Adoption is the OTHER alternative to parenting an “unplanned” child, and PP fights against having to mention it. Too much money to be made tossing human lives into the trash.

JannyMae on January 22, 2013 at 10:39 PM

I went to the nearby upscale French restaurant where a country music band was singing songs in praise of gay marriage. I went up to the singer and said Happy Roe v Wade day. I’m not sure he knew what I was talking about, but I’m pretty sure he would have agreed. This is what is positive in America in 2013. The microbrew beers were excellent.

thuja on January 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Sorry, I’m not buying what they’re selling in this poll. The trend has been going the opposite way with the advent of ultrasound, and the education of people who have realized that they have been lied to for decades, about it being “only a clump of cells” that they are murdering.

JannyMae on January 22, 2013 at 10:42 PM

I went to the nearby upscale French restaurant where a country music band was singing songs in praise of gay marriage. I went up to the singer and said Happy Roe v Wade day. I’m not sure he knew what I was talking about, but I’m pretty sure he would have agreed. This is what is positive in America in 2013. The microbrew beers were excellent.

thuja on January 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM

I’m a little confused by your statement. I think your saying it is positive that in 2013 we have gay marriage being celebrated by a country music band in a restaurant and that we have Roe v. Wade. Is that correct? Well, I think the reaction of the singer was more aproposo to our day in age. The singer was uninformed about what you were talking about and probably would have “agreed” with you only because it is the in thing to do, not because he had heard the pros and cons and come to an informed decision. That to me, is the hallmark of our “age” and it is anything but positive.

I’ll agree with you, however, that the microbrew beers have improved. Not sure I would use the word “excellent,” but they have improved.

studentofhistory on January 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM

I’m a little confused by your statement. I think your saying it is positive that in 2013 we have gay marriage being celebrated by a country music band in a restaurant and that we have Roe v. Wade. Is that correct? Well, I think the reaction of the singer was more aproposo to our day in age. The singer was uninformed about what you were talking about and probably would have “agreed” with you only because it is the in thing to do, not because he had heard the pros and cons and come to an informed decision. That to me, is the hallmark of our “age” and it is anything but positive.

I agree with your negativity about people being thoughtless, and that thoughtlessness is not any less common now than in Athens at the time of Socrates. Where I disagree with you is that I do think the singer understood the issue of gay marriage fairly well. He did not write lyrics mindlessly about this issue. But I suspect he would write lyrics mindlessly about economic issues. I fear that what I’m writing here is not poetic, and couldn’t be poetic. I suppose Ann Coulter could find some way to make the observation that singers tend to be completely clueless about economic issues amusing. But what if not? Perhaps these dull factoids are important, but can’t be made entertaining? How do we fix the situation?

I’ll agree with you, however, that the microbrew beers have improved. Not sure I would use the word “excellent,” but they have improved.

Dude, I had excellent beers tonight.

thuja on January 22, 2013 at 11:04 PM

I agree with your negativity about people being thoughtless, and that thoughtlessness is not any less common now than in Athens at the time of Socrates. Where I disagree with you is that I do think the singer understood the issue of gay marriage fairly well. He did not write lyrics mindlessly about this issue. But I suspect he would write lyrics mindlessly about economic issues. I fear that what I’m writing here is not poetic, and couldn’t be poetic. I suppose Ann Coulter could find some way to make the observation that singers tend to be completely clueless about economic issues amusing. But what if not? Perhaps these dull factoids are important, but can’t be made entertaining? How do we fix the situation?

Dude, I had excellent beers tonight.

thuja on January 22, 2013 at 11:04 PM

I was referring more to the Roe v. Wade issue. As to the beers, do tell which were excellent. It’s not a microbrew, but if you haven’t had a Tripel Karmeliet (great Belgian – I had one on Saturday), you haven’t lived.

studentofhistory on January 22, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Meh. A poll of 1,000 people with a margin of error of 3.1% or so.

Must be terrible being a social conservative and seeing the country move away from the views of the one true god. Must be depressing. Incredibly frustrating. And maddening. Especially maddening.

Well, we really feel bad for people like you.

But all social conservatives look on the bright side. They know that one day, one day real soon, Jesus will come and massacre all their enemies – which is almost the entire world, and 54% of America.

Actually, there’s a growing movement in Christendom toward Preterism and away from Futurism. (I am a futurist, though.)

Besides that, the joy we feel at the Second Coming will be in seeing Christ; at that point we literally will no longer care about what happens in and to the world.

It’s good having friends in high places.

Ha! It’s funny because it’s true!

cavalier973 on January 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM

I’ll agree with you, however, that the microbrew beers have improved. Not sure I would use the word “excellent,” but they have improved.

studentofhistory on January 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM

.

Dude, I had excellent beers tonight.

thuja on January 22, 2013 at 11:04 PM

.
DUDES !

Brewing is an art (like cooking), and as such is “in the eye of the beholder”.

listens2glenn on January 23, 2013 at 12:13 AM

It’s good having friends in high places.

.
Ha! It’s funny because it’s true!

cavalier973
on January 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM

.
Ain’t it, though ? ! … : )

listens2glenn on January 23, 2013 at 12:16 AM

And the social cons are losing on all fronts. It will take awhile for those wars to be over, but in 50 years or so, social cons will be in the very small minority and those items will not even appear as topics in America.

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

You glean a lot from a small poll sampling. And your gloating over progressive ‘victories’ will be a very short lived thing.

zoyclem on January 23, 2013 at 7:19 AM

I went up to the singer and said Happy Roe v Wade day. thuja on January 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Celebrating death. You said more about yourself than you realized with that statement. You are little more than a savage.

zoyclem on January 23, 2013 at 7:22 AM

Baby killing’s just so much fun,right ladies?We should rename convenience stores Quick Kill,and y’all can just do drive-by abortions.Reproductive rights,my ass!Lack of responsibility and lack of respect for human life-period.No excuses!

redware on January 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM

The unfortunate truth is this: However wrong abortion really is, without it the country would be crawling with ten of millions more welfare recipients, socialists, democrats, and other undesirables. What is left of our Constitution would have already been shredded, and the USA would have been no more. Careful what we wish for.

redhead on January 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The unfortunate truth is this: However wrong abortion really is, without it the country would be crawling with ten of millions more welfare recipients, socialists, democrats, and other undesirables. What is left of our Constitution would have already been shredded, and the USA would have been no more. Careful what we wish for.

redhead on January 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

.
False conclusions.

listens2glenn on January 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM

redhead on January 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Problem is that Demoncrats have found ways to replace their dead would’ve-been voters via incentives to breed randomly and via illegal immigration. If those two spigots were turned off, all they’d be left with is siphoning off young conservatives and the lake would dry up quite a bit.

Unfortunately, as it is, the shredding of our Constitution is only being delayed. Not stopped.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM

keep the change on January 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I hope you took a Midol and layed down, you seemed to be having a hard day.

itsspideyman on January 23, 2013 at 1:55 PM

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