Roe: The Next 40 Years

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Last Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that affirmed a constitutional right to abortion in the United States. As the case heads into middle age, a new survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that only 44 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 could correctly identify what Roe was even about.

But survey results like that one only tell part of the story. The fact that many young adults can’t correctly identify a particular Supreme Court case shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Millennials—the generational term commonly used for anyone between the ages of 18 and 30—don’t care about reproductive rights. (After all, some of our elected officials can’t identify any Supreme Court cases.) Millenials’ actual beliefs about abortion policy matter more than their ability to identify Roe. On that subject, the poll results are clear: 68 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds believe that women should have a right to access abortion—the highest support in any age bracket other than the baby boomers.

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Roe: The Next 40 Years

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