By Dave Andrusko
Each year Gallup conducts what it calls its annual “Values and Beliefs survey,” typically conducted in early May. Over the course of the year Gallup will filet those numbers every which way.
The first iteration, which came out yesterday, addressed the question of how people evaluated 22 different “behaviors and practices”—whether they are “morally acceptable” or “morally wrong.”
On abortion, we learn from Jeffrey M. Jones, that 48% said abortion was morally wrong, while 43% said it was morally acceptable.
What were the percentages in 2017? Jones said 49% found abortion “morally wrong” as compared to 43% who said abortion is “morally acceptable.”
The year before that 47% said abortion was morally wrong, the same 43% morally acceptable. Only once in 17 years (2015) have the percentages been the same.
“Gallup’s trends on many of these items date back to 2001,”Jones writes. “On most, Americans have adopted more permissive views over time. “
This is not true on abortion, in spite of a 24/7 campaign by the major media to tell us abortion is as no different than filling (or extracting) a tooth.
Let me refer to something I wrote last year when these Gallup numbers came out.
First “morally wrong” is an increasingly difficult characterization to use. As a culture, we tend to prefer something more neutral, less “judgmental.” So to call something “morally wrong” is almost am act of counter-cultural bravery.
Second, Gallup’s numbers are very different from Pew’s. “More than four-in-ten Americans (44%) say having an abortion is morally wrong, while 19% think it is morally acceptable and 34% say it is not a moral issue,” Michael Lipka and John Gramlich wrote in 2017.
What explains the huge difference? Largely it’s the question. Gallup’s is more abstract: is abortion “morally wrong ” or “morally acceptable”? Pew asks is having an abortion morally wrong or morally acceptable.
Almost two and one-half times as many people say having an abortion is “morally wrong” as say it is “morally acceptable.”
Thanks to you, the public continues to agree that having an abortion is morally wrong and in numbers far larger than Gallup’s results suggest.