It is hard to square the alarmism of abortion advocates with their frequent pronouncements on the American people’s support for Roe v. Wade. These advocates make abortion sound as American as apple pie. On MSNBC and CNN, pundits throw around suspiciously high polling numbers in support of Roe v. Wade. But let’s, for the sake of argument, grant them these figures. If that polling data is true, why are these advocates so afraid of a “nationwide ban” on abortion? How could Congress possibly pass a federal law against abortion in 50 states given what they claim is a deep public attachment to Roe?
In other words, which is more sincere — their frightful predictions or their spin on polling data? One suspects the former. Despite their bluster, abortion advocates know that the American people, at the very least, do not support an unrestricted right to abortion. Even the polling mavens on MSNBC acknowledge that most Americans harbor reservations about abortions the later they take place.
In light of divided opinion on abortion, the most realistic picture of a post-Roe landscape is that around half the states will go pro-life in varying degrees — a prediction to which the most pro-abortion groups in their less heated moments agree. According to NBC, an “analysis of Center for Reproductive Rights data found that 23 states would institute bans, with trigger laws on the books in 13 of them. A second abortion rights advocacy group, the Guttmacher Institute, counted 26 states it considered certain or likely to ban abortion, based on laws passed before and after Roe in the event it was overturned.” (READ MORE from George Neumayr: The Undemocratic Defenders of Roe v. Wade)
Of public opinion in a democracy, Abraham Lincoln famously said, “With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statues, or pronounces judicial decisions.” As long as public opinion remains mixed on abortion, both a national ban on it or a national codification of it are impossible to imagine anytime soon. But if Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion holds, pro-lifers will have the chance to put Lincoln’s adage to the test and persuade their fellow Americans to follow the better angels of their nature.