Public Opinion as it Relates to Abortion and Birth Control

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Question one

The issue explored from poll results is the aspect of Abortion and Birth control.

What does this suggest about public opinion about the issue?

Largely, public opinion and response the issue changes with differences in questions and wording used. In the first question, the citation referred to the Roe versus Wade case and the 1973 Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutional right to abortion. The question posed to the public is to provide their view on whether they consider it the right or wrong decision, and the majority view considers it the right decision that should not be overturned. In a different context when the wording is changed and the public is required to give their view on whether the Supreme Court ought to make abortion harder than it is now or make it easier, the majority view gave a response that abortion should be made harder. In the stated example, the two questions posed to the public are similar, yet the response of the public changes with a difference of wording in the question, largely to show how public perception of an issue changes when different words are used.

What does this suggest about public opinion about the issue?

The frame of the question influenced the answers in the sense that the public seems to support a case that uses noble language regarding an issue they perceive to understand. The public seems to support court decisions and cases compared than if the question has been asked using noble terms. The public change in response presents the notion that the public is likely to give more accurate responses about abortion when the question is posed in a manner that is easy for them to understand from a general outlook than if the question quoted a clause in law or a clause they are uncertain about, their responses are more skewed.

Can differently worded questions be used to promote different policy agendas?

Largely, differently worded questions are used to promote different policy agendas. Such is accurate in the context that the wording of the question creates a different impression or meaning to the audience, creating misunderstanding or wrong perception. In this regard, the questions posed to the public should be comprehensive and clear to ensure that they understand the opinion being sought by the researcher.

What message, if any, should these polls provide to policymakers?

The message that the polls provide to the policy makes is that questions aimed at seeking public opinion should be elaborate and clear to them. In cases whereby, they quote a law clause of a court case, it is important to expound on such a case so that the public has a well-guided opinion on the case rather than basing their responses on guesses and assumptions.

Question Two

Identify the biggest differences in opinion between Millennials and older generations.

The biggest difference in opinion between millennials and the older generation, referred to as the silent generation in the poll, has been noted as most significant in the issue of allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. From the poll, 59% of millennials support same-sex marriage under the law, whereas only 33% of the older population support same-sex marriage legally. The difference in polls regarding the issue of same-sex marriage differs significantly across the generations. In particular, this difference indicates the diverse public opinions associated with perception pegged on generational gap.

The role each of the following may play in contributing to these differences:

Political Socialization

Political socialization generates differences in public opinion to an issue in the sense that an individual will tend to support the popular view upheld by the political wing they support. Mainly, the political socialization has been considered as the process through which individuals learn and internalize the political views that shape their perception of different issues and views. In the presented case, most Americans are either Democrats or Republican. Taking an example of a position whereby Democrats would be supporting same-sex marriages legally, then an individual who considers themselves a strong Democrat would adopt the same view and position. In this regard, such views and positions are attached to political socialization and affiliation.


Priming has been referred to as the process via which the media address some issues and avoid others, thus altering the view of the public in the case of an issue. An extensive media campaign to support same-sex marriages legally, for example, is likely to shape the public opinion positively, and most people may be influenced to support the position held by the media. If the media was to portray same-sex marriage in a negative light, then most members of the public are likely to influence the public negatively and they may oppose the issue.

Opinion Leaders

Opinion leaders are regarded as influencers and decision makers, whose support or opposition to an issue largely shapes public opinion. The public may largely follow the judgment held by the opinion leader as the most popular and acceptable view. Opinion leaders are considered public influencers and they shape the view of the public regarding an issue.


Pew Research Center. Section 8: Domestic and Foreign Policy Views. 2011. Retrieved


Polling Report, Inc. Abortion and Birth Control. 2018. Retrieved from

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Public Opinion as It Relates to Abortion and Birth Control. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved June 25, 2024 , from

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