Will Abortion Save the Democrats?

President Joe Biden


Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Four months after the November midterm elections, President Biden is plumbing the depths of unpopularity. Only about 39% of Americans agree with his work.

Some Democrats appear to think abortion policies will save them as suburban women revolt against the Supreme Court’s reversal Roe v. calf. They are renewing their campaign to fill the High Court with two or maybe four more Sonia Sotomayors. A member of President Biden’s court reform commission, former federal judge Nancy Gertner, says she is “deeply frustrated” with Mr. Biden for not living up to the moment.

Not to spoil the ongoing reverie, but look again at the polls, starting with the most recent Harvard/Harris poll conducted after the court’s fall roe. Fifty-five percent of voters, including 61 percent of women, say they oppose this reversal. Yet, as usual, many people don’t seem to understand what exactly roe enshrined, which was an unconditional right to an abortion about 23 or 24 weeks ago.

When exactly do respondents think abortion should be legal? Starting with the most restrictive, 37% say only after rape or incest. Another 12% say up to the sixth week of pregnancy and 23% up to the 15th week of pregnancy. Adding these numbers together, almost three-quarters of voters (including 75% of women) want such a policy roe considered unlawful.

As for the angry reaction to the loss of roe, 59% of voters, including 61% of independents, say it’s “wrong” for Democrats to call the Supreme Court “illegitimate.” Also, 62% say people should not be allowed to protest in front of judges’ private homes and 51% believe such activists should be arrested. As for the choice, 36% say roe‘s reversal makes them more likely to vote Democrat, 36% say the same for Republicans, and 29% say it doesn’t matter.

This is a poll and the usual caveats apply, but the picture is remarkably consistent. (See our June 10 editorial, “The Contradictions of the Abortion Poll.”) Democrats may not respect mainstream opinion on abortion, and their bill in Congress suggests they don’t. But many of them don’t even seem to get it.

Wonderland: Democrats always seem on the verge of pushing politics into a state of civil unrest. Images: Getty Images/The Boston Globe Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the print edition on July 8, 2022.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-abortion-wont-save-democrats-harris-poll-roe-v-wade-supreme-court-11657229040 Will Abortion Save the Democrats?

Alley Einstein

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