Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Roe v. Wade Turns 40

The Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in America was handed down 40 years ago today, and a new poll on the subject of abortion finds that there's a growing backlash against Republicans legislating clinics out of business at the state level.

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.

That’s the first time since this poll question was first asked in 2003 that a majority maintained that abortion should be legal. Previously (with just one exception in 2008), majorities said abortion should be illegal.

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

That’s up from the 58 percent who said the decision shouldn’t be overturned in 1989; the 60 percent who said this in 2002; and the 66 percent who said this in 2005.

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 being overturned.

The GOP War on Women has profoundly affected the debate, mainly by reminding everyone that reproductive choice rights can and will be taken from all women if left up to Republicans.  No longer are Americans taking those rights and access to clinics for granted.  The winger side is making this a battle every step of the way, and that's galvanized the pro-choice side into actually fighting back...and winning.

Mostly, it's the passage of time.  Many women (and men!) though birth control and reproductive choice was a done issue.  Nobody's making that mistake now.

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