Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that affirmed a “right” to abortion under the U.S. Constitution’s right to privacy, recognized the potential pitfalls, and provided carefully crafted limits on the use of the procedure. Or did he? Just exactly what does that ruling, with its 35th anniversary now approaching, say exactly.
That’s the question in a new Roe IQ Test posted online to assess the accuracy of America’s knowledge about the nation-impacting conclusion.
Among the questions is who is allowed to perform an abortion: a licensed physician, a nurse practitioner, a resident assistant or a registered nurse.
The new assessment is being offered by four of the largest pro-family organizations in the nation: the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America.
“The pro-abortion mantra is that the public supports Roe,” said Michael Johnson, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. However, “that presumption is on shaky ground.”
“The abortion industry has waged a decades-long deception campaign to suppress the truth about abortion,” he continued. “If Americans knew the truth about Roe, they wouldn’t be as supportive.”
Carrie Gordon Earll, who serves as the bioethics analyst in the Public Policy Division at Focus on the Family, said there’s a dichotomy that needs to be examined. On one side, abortion industry forces insist the public supports the precedent.
However, “there was a survey conducted in May of this year,” she told WND. “What this survey found was that when people know what Roe does, their support for overturning it increases, and their opposition to overturning it decreases.”
“Reversing Roe is the goal, but first we have to reveal Roe,” she said, “because so many Americans don’t understand what the rulings did.”
She said the groups recognize a key part of any campaign on the abortion issue is to discuss exactly what it does.
“Most of what we’re trying to do with this Roe IQ test is help people understand,” she said.
She agreed with Johnson in that the abortion industry repeatedly affirms that the “public” supports Roe.
“Our response is, ‘No, they don’t,’ when they know what it does,” she said.
The ruling essentially snatched from the hands of voters across America their ability to decide such issues in their own states, she and Johnson agreed.
Abortion advocates “are not going to like this test, because this test moves the debate away from the nebulous word ‘choice,’ and into some concrete realities,” Earll said. “We think when people understand that Roe and Doe allowed abortion for any reason throughout a pregnancy, they’ll be appalled by that.”
And many will find themselves surprised, she suggested.
A test run of the online assessment – by about 400 people who are associated with the pro-life effort or pro-family organizations – resulted in an average score of just 68, Earll said.
The results will be tabulated shortly before the January anniversary date for the Supreme Court precedent, she said.
The test references the Roe decision, but Earll said the questions actually relate to Roe, which created the “right” to abortion, and its lesser-known Doe v. Bolton companion decision, issued the same day, that essentially set up a similar “right” to late-term abortions.
“You cannot look at one without the other,” Earll said.
Johnson said there already are eight states that have “enforceable prohibitions on abortion” that would be triggered should the overarching Roe and Doe decisions be reversed.
But he said another 16 states have court decisions blocking such prohibitions.
Carrie Gordon Earll, of Focus on the Family
Earll said she could not be more proud of the fighters on the pro-life side of the abortion wars, especially in places like Kansas, where a citizen-initiative grand jury has been ordered by the state Supreme Court to investigate late-term abortionist George Tiller, a district attorney has filed more than 100 charges against Planned Parenthood, and a pro-life activist organization, Operation Rescue, purchased a building housing an abortion clinic, resulting in its closure.
“This is a movement of people who are determined to be a voice for the voiceless,” she said. “I watch what’s happening in Kansas and it takes my breath away.”
Among the test’s questions:
“Which most accurately describes when a woman may have an abortion under Roe? Anytime during the first three months of her pregnancy. Anytime during the first six months of her pregnancy. Anytime during her entire pregnancy, or Anytime during the first three months, but can have an abortion later if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.”
The assessment also asks about the permissibility of using abortion to select an infant’s sex and the percentage of abortions done because of rape or incest, and tests the reader’s knowledge of the limits from Roe, the decision’s impact on limits for late-term abortions, and about the estimate from the Centers for Disease Control as to the number of abortions since 1973.
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