More than a month after the Supreme Court issued its explosive Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, the protests and celebrations that followed the court’s taking away the constitutional right to abortion have slowed.

But as states take up the task of deciding policies to ban, restrict or permit abortion – as the court instructed – residents of states pursuing more restrictive rules aren’t necessarily falling in line. In fact, the opposite appears to be happening.

Public polling and research conducted earlier this month by Harvard Kennedy School public policy and communications scholars Matthew Baum, Alauna Safarpour and Kristin Lunz Trujillo find that the Dobbs ruling has widened the gap between “public preferences and public policy.” (See chart below.)

“Not only are state-level policies currently unaligned with state-level public opinion, but, since the Dobbs decision was announced, Americans also increasingly appear to prefer fewer restrictions on abortion, even as many states are moving to enact more restrictions,” the scholars write in this week’s top story.

Amy Lieberman

Politics + Society Editor

The Savannah Medical Clinic, which provided abortions for four decades in Savannah, Ga., is closed now. AP Photo/Russ Bynum

Overturning Roe is not making laws reflect what people want – new survey highlights flaws in Supreme Court’s reasoning in returning abortion authority to states

Matthew A Baum, Harvard Kennedy School; Alauna Safarpour, Harvard Kennedy School; Kristin Lunz Trujillo, Harvard Kennedy School

Justice Samuel Alito said that abortion policy crafted by elected representatives in the states would be more responsive to what constituents want than federal protection of the right. He was wrong.

Activists including Myanmar citizens protest in Tokyo on July 26, 2022, against Myanmar’s recent execution of four prisoners Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Top democracy activists were executed in Myanmar – 4 key things to know

Tharaphi Than, Northern Illinois University

Myanmar’s military junta is losing some control over the country, but its execution of four high-profile leaders and prisoners sends a warning to Myanmar citizens and the rest of the world.

Pro-Trump protesters and police clash on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Why Donald Trump can’t be prosecuted for ‘dereliction of duty’ for his inaction on Jan. 6

Tim Bakken, United States Military Academy West Point

With the exception of a few states, dereliction of a duty is mostly used in military law and does not apply to citizens, including US presidents.

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