By Dave Andrusko
For whatever reason, the results from the Rasmussen Reports on the abortion issue tend to be less favorable to the pro-life side than almost any other respected source. Today’s numbers are slightly better-than-usual from a poll of 1,000 Likely Voters. (For more about the state of public opinion on abortion, see “New Poll Shows Pro-Life Majority on abortion” )
Let’s take a question Rasmussen asks often: “In the United States, is it too easy or too hard for anyone to get an abortion?” 39% say it is too easy, 23% too hard, with 25% believing the level of difficulty is about right.
More questionable is the response to “Some states require a waiting period before a woman gets an abortion. Should there be a waiting period before a woman can get an abortion?” The numbers are almost even: 45% say there should be, 42% say no. There is likely much more support for waiting periods, typically 24 hours.
The survey, conducted April 9-10, also asked, “Is abortion morally wrong most of the time or morally acceptable most of the time?. The morally wrong most of the time garnered 51%; the morally acceptable most of the time drew just over a third (34%).
Rasmussen Reports historically finds a higher percentage self-identified “pro-choicers” and that is no different with today’s results. To the question, “Generally speaking, on the issue of abortion, do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?,” 54% said pro-choice to 40% pro-life (up from 36% in November).
If you look at the poll commissioned by National Right to Life [http://nrlc.cc/16SghcI], NRLC concurs that the pro-life numbers are rebounding. NRLC found 49% self-identifying as pro-choice to 47% pro-life. (In early 2012 the figure was 50% pro-life.)
In other words the poll of 1,000 adults conducted February 28 through March 3 affirm that the public opinion is gradually moving back to where it was prior to the latter part of 2012.
Unlike Rasmussen’s poll, NRLC’s also asked a series of questions designed to determine under which circumstances the respondent would prohibit abortion. They were asked, “Which of the following statements best describes your own position on the issue of abortion?”
Abortion should be prohibited in all circumstances: 11%
Abortion should be legal only to save the life of the mother: 14%
Abortion should be legal only to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest: 28%
Abortion should be legal for any reason but not after the first three months of pregnancy: 20%
Abortion should be legal for any reason but not after the first 6 months of pregnancy: 10%
Abortion should be legal for any reason at any time during a woman’s pregnancy: 12%
If you add the top three categories together (11% + 14% +28%), 53% oppose the reasons more than 90% of abortions are performed in the United States. Put another way, only 12% agree with President Obama.
But if you go further—add to this 53% the 20% who say abortion should not be legal past the first three months—you have 73% who would likely be receptive to a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Now on the books in eight states, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act builds upon the scientific evidence that the preborn child can experience pain by the 20th week post fertilization to prohibit abortions after that juncture in fetal development.