Digging beneath the surface of new poll reveals many extremely encouraging nuggets

By Dave Andrusko

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All polls on abortion must be read carefully, but that is especially true for one released November 19: “US opinion torn on Texas abortion law as Supreme Court readies to hear arguments.”

I strongly suspect the objective of the Reuters/Ipsos poll is to reach the conclusion that the public strongly disagrees with the Texas pro-life law the Supreme Court has agreed to review.

But does this online poll of 3,387 U.S. adults tell us that?

We’ll go through the major points, one by one, and talk about one question I’ve never seen asked before. (Hint: the results for the latter are particularly encouraging.)

For purposes of the challenge to Texas’ H.B. 2, here’s what Lawrence Hurley of Reuters tells us about the responses:

About four in 10 Americans ‒ 41 percent ‒ believe laws like the one passed in Texas are intended to make abortion clinics safer, 35 percent said such laws are designed to make it difficult or impossible for women to obtain abortions, and 24 percent said they did not know, according to a new online Reuters/Ipsos poll of 3,387 US adults that was released on Wednesday.

Ok. Let’s deconstruct that answer. Given the hysteria generated by the Abortion Lobby and passed along uncritically by most of the “mainstream media,” the only answer you would think most people could possibly give is “such laws are designed to make it difficult or impossible for women to obtain abortions.” That’s the mantra repeated endlessly.

In fact only 35% agree with that.

Indeed more people (41%) agree that the objective is to “make abortion clinics safer.” AND note this: Exactly as many Democrats as Republicans took that position!

Next question, should the High Court strike the law down.

24% said strike the law, “because it restricts access to abortion services”; another 9% said strike “because of other reasons”=a total of 33%.

But 22 % said uphold the law “because it doesn’t’ restrict access to abortion services”; another 10% said uphold “because of other reasons”=a total of 32%. A virtual dead-heat.

Since 36% said “don’t know,” it means there is lot of education that could be put to good use.

And speaking of encouraging results, consider this question: “Thinking now about the buildings where abortions may occur, in your opinion should clinics that perform abortions follow the same building standards as

  • ”Medical (non-hospital) facilities that perform outpatient medical procedures”–30%.
  • ”Hospitals facilities that perform more invasive medical procedures”–44%! That is what the Texas law requires! By a 3-2 margin, the public agrees with Texas H.B. 2.

While 51% of Republicans agree with that, even 40% of Democrats and 46% of Independents did so. (26% said they “don’t know.”)

The Reuters/Ipsos poll also asked about the other requirement under challenge: that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case of emergencies. Here’s how the question was asked (note, 31% said they “don’t know”):

“Which of the below statements comes closer to your own opinion on doctors that perform abortions at clinics?”

  • ”They should be able to work there regardless of their affiliation with nearby hospitals or other medical facilities”–38%
  • ”They should have to be affiliated with a nearby hospital or facility in addition to the clinic where they perform abortions”–31%.

Ask yourself, if someone is not up to speed on the issue, what’s missing from these two alternatives? There’s nothing about WHY there is a requirement “to be affiliated with a nearby hospital or facility.”

What would the response have been if the question instead had been

“They should have to be affiliated with a nearby hospital or facility in addition to the clinic where they perform abortions, so, in cases of medical emergencies, they can follow their patient to the hospital”?

I’m betting considerably higher!

Note also that many of these abortionists fly-in to abortion clinics where they kill unborn babies a couple of days a week or a couple of days a month. To say that they are “affiliated” with the abortion clinic is technically true but stretching the truth (to put it mildly).

What about those questions I hadn’t seen before and which did not get mentioned in the reporting? Here’s the most interesting one (27% said “don’t know”):

“And which of the below is closest to your view about where abortion laws should be made?” Options are

“Abortion laws should be made at the state level by state legislators”–13%.

“Abortion laws should be made at the state level by voter referendum”–21%.

“Abortion laws should be made at the national level by Congress” –11%

“Abortion laws should be made by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring a nationalwide constitutional right”– 27%.

Let that soak in for a moment. Barely a quarter of the public agrees that the Supreme Court should have rendered what it did in 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision–“a nationalwide constitutional right” to abortion.

There’s lots more to peruse at your leisure. You can read the poll for yourself.