CLAIM: Elizabeth Warren claimed the vast majority of Americans believe Roe v. Wade should be codified into law.
VERDICT: FALSE. Most polling, including the results of a Marist poll released just two weeks ago, finds most Americans reject the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.
Elizabeth Warren said during the Democrat debate in New Hampshire Friday evening that “three out of every four people in America believe right now that the rule of Roe v. Wade should be the law.”
Sen. Warren on if there should be a litmus test on abortions: “It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman’s choice.” https://t.co/8EYJNMry9k #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/PmXwfims6a
— ABC News (@ABC) February 8, 2020
However, according to the Marist poll released two weeks ago, 62 percent of Americans say that if the Supreme Court revisits Roe v. Wade, it should rule to allow states to determine abortion restrictions (46 percent) or make abortion illegal (16 percent). This outcome includes 39 percent of those who identify as Democrat and 40 percent of those who consider themselves “pro-choice.”
According to the poll, only 33 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal at any time without restriction.
The poll found 41 percent of those who identify as pro-choice are more likely to vote for candidates who support abortion restrictions, as are more than nine in ten, or 96 percent, of those who identify as pro-life.
Additionally, 65 percent of Americans, and the same percentage of registered voters, say they “are more likely to vote for” candidates who would limit abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This outcome includes 88 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents, and 44 percent of Democrats.
Democrat rival Amy Klobuchar made a false claim similar to that of Warren during the Democrat debate in Georgia in November.
In January 2019, another Marist poll found 75 percent of Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion, including 60 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice.”
According to that poll, 75 percent of Americans said abortion should be limited to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy. Among those who identified as Republicans, 92 percent wanted that restriction, as did 78 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats. Perhaps most significantly, that view was shared by 61 percent of those who identified as “pro-choice.”
In addition, that survey found 65 percent of Americans say if the Supreme Court revisits Roe v. Wade, the high court should either return the issue of the legality of abortion to the states (49 percent) or outlaw the procedure altogether (16 percent). Only 30 percent of those surveyed in the 2019 poll said they would prefer that the Supreme Court rule in favor of unrestricted abortion.
Regarding taxpayer funding of the procedure, 54 percent opposed any taxpayer funding of abortion, while 39 percent supported it.
On the issue of overseas abortions, the poll found 75 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding abroad, through non-governmental organizations such as International Planned Parenthood, with only 19 percent in favor of such funding. When political affiliation is a factor, 94 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents, and 56 percent of Democrats, oppose taxpayer funding of abortion overseas.
Since some Democrat-led states have passed legislation that would allow abortion up until the time of birth, public opinion has shifted on abortion.
In February 2019, another Marist poll, released after New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that made abortion a fundamental right, found a 17-point shift toward the pro-life position.
The poll found a double-digit shift, with Americans now as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as pro-choice (47 percent) since the Marist poll conducted one month earlier in January. In addition, pro-life Democrats alone shifted from 20 to 34 percent, an outcome that showed more than one-third of Democrats now identify as pro-life.
“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way,” Marist Poll Director Barbara Carvalho said in a press release, adding:
The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public … there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice.
A YouGov survey, also in February 2019, found most Americans who identify as “pro-choice” oppose late-term abortions.
The Associated Press reported as well that 66 percent of adults who identify as pro-choice opposed third-trimester abortions, while 68 percent opposed abortions the day before a baby is born.
Among all adults surveyed, 79 percent rejected late-term abortion, and 80 percent opposed day-before-birth abortion.
Furthermore, 82 percent of all those surveyed disagreed with withholding medical care for a viable newborn, including 77 percent of pro-choice adults.
Warren also said during the debate Friday evening:
If we are going to protect the people of the United States of America and we are going to protect our right to have dominion over our own bodies, then it’s going to mean we can’t simply rely on the courts … That means we should be pushing for a congressional solution as well. It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman’s choice.
There is some indication Warren and other Democrats will make an attempt to codify Roe v. Wade into law. The House may take up a resolution (H.J. Res. 79) to erase the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and use that to enshrine abortion in the Constitution.
Students for Life Action President Kristan Hawkins, whose organization has spearheaded a nationwide campaign to contact House members to urge a “no” vote on this resolution, said in a statement sent to Breitbart News:
If the resolution is passed by the House, the stage will be set to … enshrine abortion in the Constitution. The ERA isn’t about equality; it isn’t about women’s rights, and it doesn’t deserve to be an amendment to the Constitution. H.J. Res. 79 is a Trojan horse designed, constructed, and deployed by the left to wreak havoc on our Constitution by inserting language that will be a tax-payer funded hook for abortion.
“This is not speculation, as state courts have found state ERAs to require taxpayer funding of abortion,” Hawkins stated.