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Abortion foes should gear up to win the fight for public opinion

7 0 1
06.05.2022

Pro-lifers should take heed ofthe ferocious blowback to Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. They need to keep their wits about them in the coming months and focus on the long game: changing public opinion.

Abraham Lincoln was right when he said that in democracies, “public sentiment is everything ... [H]e who moulds public sentiment . . . makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.” If Americans believe abortion is wrong, then abortion opponents will prevail.

Public sentiment today, however, is nuanced but favorable to abortion rights. Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans believe a woman should have a right to abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. But those polls also show that majorities favor banning abortion after that point. So long as this sentiment prevails, it is folly for pro-lifers to try to advance any nationwide ban on the procedure.

Majorities in many states, however, take a different view. In some deeply Republican states, a clear majority of voters oppose abortion, either from conception........

© Washington Post


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