Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Most Americans don't understand Roe

HT: Power Blog

A new poll measures Americans' understanding of Roe vs. Wade, from a Real Women's Voices press release:
A national poll released today ... shows that while 65 percent of Americans say they are familiar with the 1973 landmark abortion case, Roe vs. Wade, only 29 percent are able to select an accurate description of the ruling.

A breakdown of how those who claimed familiarity with Roe perceived Roe:
  • 29% Made abortion legal in essentially all circumstances throughout pregnancy
  • 18% Made abortion legal but only in the first trimester
  • 17% Made abortion legal but only in limited circumstances
  • 15% Made abortion legal but only in the first and second trimesters

So 71% of those who thought they knew what Roe did really didn't know, and 35% of those who thought they understood Roe have a major gap between what they think it is and what it actually is.

My brain hurts. Can anybody do the math and see what percent of Americans don't understand Roe, and of those, how many at least know they don't know, versus how many don't know but think they do.

(N.B. James Davison Hunter, in his meta-analysis of polls, found a strong link between confidence in one's misinformation about abortion and a strong prochoice stand. Interesting, no?)

The poll results are available here.

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