by Steven Ertelt
November 9, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new Harris Poll claims a majority of Americans favor the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions nationwide. However, the poll’s question erroneously told respondents on three occasions that Roe only allowed abortions up to three weeks into the pregnancy.
Harris has asked the poll about support for the landmark Supreme Court case almost every year since the decision was handed down in 1973.
However, the question misleads survey participants.
It uses pro-abortion language saying the abortion should be "to the woman and her doctor to decide" and repeatedly telling them wrong information about the results of the case,
Harris asks: "In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that states laws which made it illegal for a woman to have an abortion up to three months of pregnancy were unconstitutional, and that the decision on whether a woman should have an abortion up to three months of pregnancy should be left to the woman and her doctor to decide. In general, do you favor or oppose this part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision making abortions up to three months of pregnancy legal?"
Despite the question’s deficiencies, the poll finds only a small majority of 56 percent of Americans support the Roe decision.
Another 40 percent oppose Roe and four percent of Americans are undecided.
Surprisingly, Harris refuses to assign a margin of error to the poll and acknowledges that "error associated with question wording and response options" could play a role in affecting its results.
Other recent polls have confirmed a majority of Americans oppose the overwhelming number of abortions that Roe v. Wade allowed when it toppled pro-life laws across the country.
A recent Fox News poll reveals that a majority of Americans oppose the overwhelming majority of abortions that take place in the United States and a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times survey found 50 percent of Americans opposed all or almost all abortions.
The Harris poll found Republicans oppose Roe on a 51-45 percentage point margin while Democrats (63-33 percent) and Independents (61-36 percent) favored it.
Harris also found that most Americans don’t think Roe will ever be reserved as 24 percent say it will likely be overturned while 69 percent say it won’t.
Harris also asked survey participants, "In general, do you favor permitting a woman who wants one to have an abortion in all circumstances, some circumstances or no circumstances?"
Some 25 percent of Americans always support abortion, 52 support it in some cases and 20 percent oppose all abortions.
That question provides only limited help in understanding the abortion views of most Americans because it doesn’t delineate what "some circumstances" includes.
Surveys from CBS News reveal that a majority of Americans oppose abortions in about 98 percent of all cases.
The Harris Poll was conducted by telephone within the United States between October 16 and 23, 2007 among 1,052 adults.