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Media Outlets Obfuscate Abortion Issue to Protect Democrats!

David Harsanyi on

With the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito overturning Roe v. Wade, the media has gone into hyperdrive trying to obscure the real contours of the debate. One of the most obvious ways they do it is by highlighting politically motivated surveys and conducting push polling.

Take Politico's recent Morning Consult poll, which informs us that 53% of voters say Roe should not be overturned. Even among Republican voters, only 48% support overturning Roe. First of all, who cares? It's a completely irrelevant query, really. The court exists not to care what polls tells them. And, really, on what constitutional grounds do these 53% of Americans maintain the decision should be upheld? There is tons of evidence illustrating that, other than in the broadest terms, most Americans have no idea what Roe entails.

If you want to delve into the topic, a far more worthwhile line of inquiry would be: "Do you believe the issue of abortion should be a protected constitutional right, or should voters be able to decide the issue on a state level?" This properly lays out the reality of choices that voters face. And I suspect the numbers would look quite different when the issue is framed properly. But, of course, that would mean informing those being questioned that overturning Roe doesn't necessarily mean an abortion ban. That would be inconvenient.

The Morning Consult poll also finds that 41% of voters say it is "very important" for them to vote for a candidate in the 2022 midterms who supports "abortion access." Every Republican-led law that's been enacted on the issue of abortion in recent years, including the Mississippi bill that sparked the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health case, provides "access" to abortion. Maybe some future bill won't, but these do. Do you think those 41% understand this reality, one that is purposely obscured by the question? I don't.

And anyway, why are pollsters posing inexact theoretical questions about abortion when they can ask precise ones that would properly gauge where the public stands on the debate that does exist? Democrats run Washington, and Chuck Schumer, who runs the Senate, has already brought the Women's Health Protection Act bill to the floor. This bill had tangible policy components that properly reflect the Democratic Party's position on abortion, so pollsters don't have to guess.

Some easy questions might be:

 

-- Do you support the Democratic Party's effort to legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in all 50 states?

-- Do you support the Democrats' efforts to prohibit states from passing laws that forbid abortions after viability?

-- Do you support the Democrats' efforts to prohibit states from passing laws against sex-selective abortions?

-- Do you support the Democrats' efforts to overturn existing laws that require parental or guardian notification for minors?

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