According to mainstream headlines, a recent abortion poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal in collaboration with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) revealed a substantial short-term gain in support for legal abortion in 2023.
But the headlines don’t tell the whole story.
And this recent Wall Street Journal Poll proves the media is once again misleading the American people.
Contrary to the headlines, the WSJ article conveniently overlooks a crucial detail—the support for legal abortion has marginally decreased since May 2022, the last time the WSJ and NORC delved into public sentiments on abortion.
Specifically, the percentage of individuals endorsing a pregnant woman’s right to obtain a legal abortion “for any reason” dropped from 57 percent to 55 percent between May 2022 and October 2023.
The impact of the June 2022 Dobbs decision on public attitudes, as portrayed by this poll, appears to be minimal.
While the article hints at a long-term gain in support for legal abortion, caution is warranted in interpreting these findings.
The author draws on pre-2022 abortion opinion data from the General Social Surveys (GSS) conducted by NORC, but this comparison might be misleading.
GSS surveys cover a broad spectrum of topics, and research indicates that responses to abortion questions can be influenced by various factors, including preceding questions.
Hence, the alleged substantial gain in support for legal abortion might be less robust when scrutinized in the context of a more extensive survey.
The media narrative attempting to showcase a surge in public support for legal abortion post-Dobbs finds a contrasting reality in other polls.
The May 2023 Gallup poll, for instance, reports a five-percentage-point increase in pro-life sentiment since May 2022.
The annual Knights of Columbus/Marist poll echoes a theme of stability in abortion attitudes since the Dobbs decision.
Despite any recent setbacks in statewide direct democracy campaigns for pro-lifers, these poll results paint a picture of relatively stable public opinion.
As pro-lifers navigate the complex landscape of abortion discourse, it is essential to discern the subtleties beneath sensational headlines to find out the truth.
While media outlets may try to amplify shifts in public sentiment, the data remains inconclusive and open to interpretation.
And, as pro-lifers are well aware, the left-leaning media is always quick to jump on a catchy headline that supports the pro-choice cause.
In the realm of abortion advocacy, the call for pro-lifers is to stay the course, recognizing that public sentiment is multifaceted and subject to change.
Even a single heart or mind changed in favor of life is a win for the pro-life movement.
Pro-Life Press will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.