By Dave Andrusko
“Progressives,” for all practical purposes uniformly pro-abortion, like to recycle Pew Research’s reports on abortion which are universally misleading. That includes on the public’s thoughts on reversing Roe v. Wade and the abortion views of younger Evangelicals.
The latest was made possible when Pew recently produced “On abortion, persistent divides between – and within – the two parties,” written by Hannah Fingerhut.
The Daily Kos ran with it.
After matter of factly citing some of Pew’s numbers, Kelly Macias cranked into overdrive:
It’s truly curious how Republicans have become even more conservative over time and it looks like religion plays a huge role. Sadly, gains in technology, education and science don’t seem to convince them that women should have autonomy over their own bodies. This wouldn’t be problematic if they weren’t so obsessed with trying to turn their beliefs into laws that not only prevent women from access to abortions but that drive maternal mortality rates up.
So under-educated pro-life Republicans, deaf to the teachings of “technology, education and science,” are obsessed with turning their religious beliefs into law, in the process driving up maternal mortality rates.
Whew. Quite a mouthful of meaningless pro-abortion platitudes.
Let’s see what Pew says, which is largely a rehash of what it wrote in April 2016.
#1. Unlike Gallup, Pew merely asks people whether they say abortion should be legal in all/most cases, or illegal in all/most cases. That allows them to say that 57% say abortion should be legal in all/most cases.
As we have explained countless times, when (as Gallup does) you ask a more discerning set of questions, you typically find that a total of 55% who say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances (19%) or legal in only a few circumstances (36%) Everything else that followed in Fingerhut’s analysis is colored by the way Pew frames the issue–most/all.
#2. No question there is a stark disagreement between the major parties.
By a wide margin (65% to 34%), Republicans say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. In 1995, Republicans were evenly divided (49% legal vs. 48% illegal).
Views among Democrats have shown less change over the past two decades. Today, 75% of Democrats say abortion should be legal in at least most cases; in 1995, 64% favored legal abortion in all or most cases.
In case you missed it, that represents an increase of 16% in pro-life sentiment among Republicans compared to a 11% increase in pro-abortion sentiment among Democrats.
#3. Fingerhut writes
Among the public overall, there are no significant gender differences in views of whether abortion should be legal. Majorities of both men (55%) and women (59%) say it should be legal in at least most cases.
The numbers are wrong (as noted, the pro-abortion sentiment is inflated by the way the question is asked), but the conclusion is correct: there is little difference between men’s and women’s views on abortion.
#4. Finally, Fingerhut writes
Among white evangelical Protestants, there continues to be staunch opposition to abortion in all or most cases. Seven-in-ten (70%) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while just 29% say it should be legal.
By contrast, the religious “nones” – those who are religiously unaffiliated – show broad support for legal abortion in all or most cases.
Clearly we need to bring more “nones” into the fold, which is where groups such as Secular Pro-Life, whose leader spoke at the recent NRLC Convention, are particularly helpful.
Going back for a second to Pew’s misleading poll about overturning Roe, it is true that opinions haven’t changed much when respondents are asked about overturning Roe “completely.”
However that is decidedly not true about what may someday in the not so distant future be before the Supreme Court. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act which says you can’t abort kids capable of experiencing unfathomable amounts of pain as they are executed.
It has huge support among the public at large. A national poll taken the day of the November elections found widespread backing that extended across all demographic and geographic boundaries. For example
- Millennial voters——-78% support
- Women voters———67% support
- African Americans—-70% support
- Hispanics————– 57% support
Contrary to Pew, the public is very receptive to pro-life initiative after pro-life initiative.