By Dave Andrusko
Okay, pop quiz. What does this headline suggest to you? “CNN Poll: Wide divide over abortion.”
Actually, the poll, conveniently released just before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference began, tells you there is much more unanimity on abortion than you might think.
Let’s talk about some of the results which have to be based on the CNN story rather than the actual poll results which, alas, I could not find online.
“According to the poll, 27% say that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, 13% say it should be legal in most circumstances, 38% say that it should be legal in few circumstances, and 20% say abortion should always be illegal.
A total of 58% say about should be legal in either a few circumstances (38%) or should always illegal (20%). That’s a pretty hefty total, wouldn’t you say? And wouldn’t it be fascinating to know what situations people have in mind when they agreed that abortion should be legal “in most circumstances.” My guess is that if you pinned them down, some of them would adopt positions very close to the pro-life position.
“Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to say that abortion should always be illegal,” according to CNN’s political ticker blog. ” Well, okay. But if 31% of Republicans say abortion should always be illegal, this means—assuming approximately as many Democrats as Republicans were surveyed–a pretty impressive percentage of Democrats agreed with their Republican opposition.
“Most Americans have never favored using public funds for abortions for women who cannot afford them. According to the survey, 56% remain opposed, with only 39% favoring public funding for abortions.”
Again, I don’t have the exact wording but if the 1,010 adults were asked about providing funding for women who “cannot afford” an abortion, that tilts the question. If the wording were more neutral, my guess is the 56% would be higher by at least a few percentage points.
#4. CNN talks about asking a question on abortion and “government subsidies for health” which resulted in a tie vote. But the way the story phrases the question is so awkward and incomplete, the reader can make no honest evaluation.
Bottom line? On the big picture questions, the CNN poll affirms what we find in Gallup (see nrlc.cc/1dwprkm and nrlc.cc/1fbveZ2). A strong majority of the American public opposes the reasons for which almost all abortions are performed. And they also don’t want their tax dollars subsidizing abortions.