By Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan Education Coordinator

Saturday, June 24 was Dobbs Day! For the prolife movement, the day Dobbs v. Jackson was decided was an amazing day: the culmination of a half century of work and the opportunity to increase protections of the most vulnerable. For the pro-choice side, it was a dark day.

The real question, though, is what do the American people think about it?

Many predicted that if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, there would be a massive and decisive backlash against the prolife movement. So far, there does appear to be some backlash, but it’s certainly not massive. Polling indicates a dip in prolife views immediately before and after the decision, but little change in people’s views on abortion policy. There’s even been a recovery in recent months for prolife views as the American people begin to see the post-Dobbs America.

Let’s look at a couple polls.

Michigan Post-Prop 3

A Marketing Resource Group poll taken in mid-March shows Michiganders’ broad support for prolife policies. That includes parental consent, which was at the center of the debate over Proposal 3, which added abortion (and many other things) to Michigan’s Constitution.

  • 67% support parental consent for abortion
  • 63% support a 24-hour waiting period for abortion
  • 90% support requiring abortion facilities to be licensed and inspected

Gallup Shows Prolife Rebound

Gallup’s abortion polls are very helpful because they keep asking the same questions over the space of many years. Their most recent poll of Americans on abortion was conducted in May, and their previous poll was done in May 2022, starting the day the opinion in the Dobbs case was leaked to the public.

  • 44% say they are prolife, up 5 points from the Dobbs leak.
  • 49% say abortions should be legal in only a few circumstances or illegal in all, up 5 points from the leak.
  • 47% say abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, down 6 points from the leak.

Prolife Policies Remain Popular

A poll from The Tarrance Group in June shows most prolife policies remain popular with people from both parties, including majority support for making the Hyde Amendment a permanent law.

  • 68% of Democrats support pregnancy help centers that don’t offer abortions.
  • 59% of Democrats support banning abortions (with exceptions) after 15 weeks.
  • 54% of Democrats support parental consent.
  • Only 24% of Democrats support national legislation mandating abortion be legal through all nine months of pregnancy.
  • 52% of voters support a permanent ban on tax-funded abortions.

Little Change; The Debate Continues

For decades, it’s been small groups on either side of the abortion debate with consistent views trying to appeal to most Americans in the middle. These Americans are unsure of exactly where government should draw a line. In many states, they aren’t willing to agree yet that 1st trimester abortions should be banned. However, many prolife policies continue to be seen as common sense and drawing widespread support, including parental consent, waiting periods, health and safety regulations, no tax-funded abortions, and late-term abortion bans.

Now, a year later, there doesn’t seem to be a great change in public opinion as states begin to sort out where they stand.

Prolifers should be encouraged as they continue working to change hearts and minds. For us, that means defending our existing laws, and supporting the thousands of Michiganders who serve in 100 pregnancy resource centers across the state providing ongoing support for women at each stage of pregnancy—and after birth.

We’re confident that Americans will continue to see that prolife laws provide common sense protections for women and children, and, in contrast, pro-choice advocates push unpopular, extreme policies that put women at risk. Our hope is that more and more women will see a choice for life as possible, take advantage of support across our communities, and look to a future filled with hope.