New poll finds that young Americans don’t know that ‘Roe’ deals with abortion

As we reflect on the 40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, the fact that young Americans are unaware of the significance of the ruling – let alone, what it involves – is quite startling.

Pew Center poll released earlier this month found that only 44 percent of adults under the age of 30 know that Roe dealt with the issue of abortion rights. More disturbingly, one in three young adults believe that the case pertains to another issue, such as the death penalty, environmental protection or school desegregation. Overall, 62 percent of Americans could correctly identify Roe as a case dealing with abortion rights.

One possible theory behind these distressing statistics is that Millennials are the first generation fully raised in an era in which abortions were legal. As long as we have been alive women have had the ability to terminate a pregnancy for any reason within the first three months (and then potentially afterwards, depending on the individual state’s laws).We weren’t alive when activists were fighting in courts either for or against the right to terminate a pregnancy.

It could explain why, for example, Planned Parenthood reported a record year for abortions in 2012.

Or how the Pew study found that a whopping 74 percent of Americans aged 50 to 64 – the group of Americans who were in high school or college when the decision came down in 1973 – knew that Roe dealt with abortion rights.

It’s interesting to note as well that a full third of Millennials think that Roe deals with something else, like school segregation (Brown v. Board of Education anyone!) or the death penalty. In comparison, only approximately 13 percent of Americans above the age of 30 believe that Roe dealt with one of those issues.

A possible side-effect of America’s youth not knowing what Roe stands for is that they are also less likely than their elder counterparts to believe that abortion rights is a critical issue. Only 13 percent of Millennials said that abortion rights consider the issue to be critical to them when determining how to vote, compared to the 62 percent who are indifferent to the issue. This is rather low compared to seniors, of whom 25 percent say that abortion is a top issue.

Comments

Polititainment

George Will to Colbert: Liberals don't want change

Conservative commentator and hapless Chicago Cubs fan George Will swung by "The Colbert Report" Tuesday to plug his new book, "A Nice Little Place on the North Side," but naturally, the conversation didn't stick to baseball.

Clay Aiken: voters 'might wonder' about candidacy

Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken concedes that voters "might wonder" about his candidacy for Congress for a new ad.

Los Angeles GOP #StandingWithSriracha

Forget #StandWithRand -- the GOP is now choosing to #StandWithSriracha.

WH responds to 'Deport Justin Bieber' petition

Despite the pleas of more than 270,000 Americans to deport Justin Bieber, the White House has chosen not to weigh in on the issue. However, the Obama administration did use a petition calling on the White House to revoke the pop artist's visa to plug President Barack Obama's plan for immigration reform.

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

White House

Donald Trump is really upset with the way Obama walks

President Barack Obama just can't seem to do anything right, especially in the eyes of real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Obama misses 67 percent of his shots playing basketball at Easter event

President Barack Obama went 1-for-3 shooting baskets at a White House Easter event Monday, prompting basketball scouts to question the leader of the free world's scoring ability ahead of this June's NBA Draft.

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

Congress

Arkansas US Sen. John Boozman having surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman is undergoing surgery at an Arkansas hospital.

Republicans are winning the Twitters this year

Congrats, Congressional Republicans -- you're winning the Twitters so far in 2014!

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.