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

Mitt's awesome ice bucket challenge reax

"Mitt does the most Mitt thing ever."

Jay-Z's Cuba trip did not violate law
The U.S. Treasury Department apparently fears the wrath of the Beygency as much as the rest of the world. A U.S. Treasury investigation has found Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s 2013 Cuba trip did not violate sanctions law. Beyoncé and Jay-Z, close friends of the Obamas,  had obtained permission to visit the blacklisted country from the Treasury’s Office […]
'Harry Potter' made youth more liberal
Millennials grew up in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Deciding who was the Hermione, Harry and Ron in your friend group, wishing for the end of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and  knowing that the correct way to say the “leviosa” spell is “levi-OH-sa” was built into the fabric of  our collective childhood. Apparently Harry and friends are […]
Obama once killed a 'SNL' sketch
Presidents, first ladies and all types of political candidates have been both frequent guests and the butt of jokes on “Saturday Night Live.” The Hollywood Reporter published an excerpt Wednesday of the updated edition of the Saturday Night Live oral history, “Live From New York,” written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and it featured a lot of juicy details about […]
Christie defends use of Boss' music

Chris Christie saw The Boss just a week ago, and there's no beef about the guv using his tunes, thank you very much.

White House

Government watchdog says Bergdahl swap was not only illegal, it was doubly illegal

Congress' chief watchdog said that the U.S. prisoner swap involving Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl violated two laws in a report issued Thursday.

10 photos of President Obama in his office that will restore your faith in the presidency

Smile already, America. Your commander in chief is in the driver's seat.

Newt Gingrich: Obama’s ‘golf problem’ is that he stinks when he’s not playing it

"If the economy was growing, the border was controlled, the Middle East was stabilizing and there were no outbreaks of violence in the streets of major American cities, no one would comment on the number of golf games President Obama played."

Obama heads back to vacation after unexplained DC trip
THE HILL – President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place. Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, […]
President Obama ‘didn’t know’ the Missouri governor was calling National Guard to Ferguson

As has been the case with so many crises that have faced America during Obama's time in the White House, it appears the president has learned about the Missouri Governor calling the National Guard to Ferguson on the news.

Congress

McConnell’s plan to shut down Obama
POLITICO – Mitch McConnell has a game plan to confront President Barack Obama with a stark choice next year: Accept bills reining in the administration’s policies or veto them and risk a government shutdown. In an extensive interview here, the typically reserved McConnell laid out his clearest thinking yet of how he would lead the Senate […]
See the 'Best of' Pelosi's incoherent babbles
Whether she is spouting off about  “race ha[ving] something to do” with the Republican stance on immigration or charging across the U.S. House floor to call a fellow representative “insignificant,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is known for saying some crazy things. Roll Call has compiled some of Pelosi’s greatest hits from 2014 in a video […]
Voters do not believe Congress deserves reelection
Most Americans do not believe current members of Congress deserve to be reelected, a new poll finds. A Gallup poll released Monday found that only 19 percent of registered voters say most members of Congress deserve to be reelected. This the second lowest figure since Gallup first started asking the question in 1992. People feel more […]
Schock outlines how GOP can attract millennials
Positive messaging, reaching out in person, and uniting the party behind strong economic policies are all ways Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) thinks the Republican party can win over millennial voters. Schock appeared on CNN Friday to talk with conservative commentator S.E. Cupp about winning young voters. As the second-youngest member of the House of Representatives at […]
Rep. Justin Amash defends his bold victory speech
After a bitter primary fight, Rep. Justin Amash (R- Mich.) delivered a bold victory speech in which he skewered his opponent last week. The Congressman has taken plenty of heat for his less-than-gracious words, but Amash is not backing down. Amash wrote an op-ed in the Grand Rapids Press Thursday to defend his statements and to […]