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May 11, 1994

Public Attitudes About Abortion

Author Affiliations

Kent State University Kent, Ohio

JAMA. 1994;271(18):1400. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510420032016

To the Editor.  —In their abortion poll review, Dr Blendon and colleagues1 addressed four issues. Regarding the second issue, "public perspectives on the desired legality of abortion," they failed to observe their own criterion of omitting biased questions, neglected to answer fully the question of how the Table data "relate to public attitudes about sustaining Roe v Wade," and failed to note important conclusions.Although warning us that poll questions referring only to the first-trimester aspects of Roe v Wade may be biased, Blendon et al analyze responses to such a question in detail, the question posed by Harris, which is triply biased in a pro-choice direction.2,3 Its main fault is that it gives the respondent uninformed about the content of Roe v Wade the impression that the court legalized abortion only in the first trimester, and seeks the informed respondent's opinion only on the first-trimester ruling. Yet

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