By Carol Tobias, President
On Friday, Gallup released a poll with the headline, “Americans Choose ‘Pro-Choice’ for First Time in Seven Years.”
The article began, “Half of Americans consider themselves ‘pro-choice’ on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as ‘pro-life.’ This is the first time since 2008 that the pro-choice position has had a statistically significant lead in Americans’ abortion views.” However, a closer look at the poll offers plenty of encouraging news for those who seek to protect unborn children, particularly that some of those who labeled themselves “pro-choice” offered answers that were closer to the pro-life position.
As we have known for many, many years, the percentage of people who label themselves “pro-life” or “pro-choice” fluctuates. Gallup asked survey participants, “With respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself to be pro-choice or pro-life?”
For the first time in seven years, the pro-choice label received a 50% response. The number has been in the mid-to upper 40’s for most of those years.
The “pro-life” label was chosen by 44% of respondents, the same number received by the poll in December of 2012.
However a more accurate reading of where the country really stands on abortion can be found in another question in the poll. Respondents were asked, “Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?” Those who answered “legal only under certain circumstances” were then asked, “Do you think abortion should be legal in most circumstances or only in a few circumstances?”
The results break down as follows:
Abortion should be legal in any circumstance — 29%
Abortion should be legal in most circumstances — 13%
Abortion should be legal in only a few circumstances — 36%
Abortion should be illegal in all circumstances — 19%
Fully 55% of respondents said that abortion should be legal only in a few circumstances (36%) or should be illegal in all circumstances (19%).
And while, as noted, 50% of respondents labeled themselves “pro-choice,” only 42% believe abortion should be legal in any or most circumstances. Obviously, some of those who said they were “pro-choice” also said abortion should be legal in only a few circumstances. They’re much closer to the pro-life position, they just don’t know it yet!
Our efforts to talk about the humanity of the unborn child, to explain what happens to that child in an abortion, and to pass laws protecting those children are having an impact. Whether they consider themselves to be pro-life or pro-choice, most Americans think all or most abortions should be illegal.
The voiceless unborn babies need your voice. Keep working. Keep fighting. You are making a difference.