By Olivia Gans Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life
Last month the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a poll that confirms what pro-life activists have always known: Most people don’t know how far Roe went. It also proves that most people want reasonable rules put in place to protect women and their babies and don’t support unrestricted abortion up to birth. Some 73% of respondents support common-sense laws such as parental consent and in-person consultations before an abortion.
AAPLOG commissioned a nationwide poll which was fielded June 3-6. It revealed several key insights about how to discuss factual information about abortion and women’s health care.
The findings of the poll point to widespread support across all political spectrums for laws that protect unborn children who can feel pain in the womb and have reached detectable stages of human development, including a heartbeat, brain waves or fingers and toes. The poll also suggests that abortion should not be legal if the baby has reached one or more of these stages; 59% support laws to protect unborn children who have reached these stages of life.
Significantly the new poll suggests that the majority of Americans think providing abortion drugs via telemedicine is dangerous and that pregnant women should be required to see a licensed physician before an abortion.
AAPLOG members have stressed for some time that mail order abortion puts women at grave risk of injury or death. Emergency room visits due to chemical abortion complications are up 500% between 2002-2015. And 54% oppose at-home or unregulated use of chemical abortion drugs. In Virginia, no physical examination is required before receiving abortion drugs in the mail.
Virginia Society for Human Life is not surprised that so many Americans support reasonable laws regarding abortion. This poll challenges the false information being pushed by pro-abortion activists and businesses, including Planned Parenthood, since the Dobbs ruling came down. It proves to VSHL that the efforts of Virginia leaders to pass rational laws is on point.
As it happens, Virginia had many of these same common-sense laws in place up until 2020 when the pro-abortion Democratic majority in the General Assembly passed legislation that stripped those protective laws away. Gov. Ralph Northam was happy to sign the bill that effectively removed most of Virginia’s pro-life laws, most of which were the same sort of laws that this new poll indicates are supported by the majority of Americans.
The effort of Gov. Glenn Youngkin to pass a bill to protect babies who can feel pain in their mother’s womb after 15 weeks is in sync with the will of a majority of Americans. Most polls on that issue suggest a margin of support as great as 65%. There is mounting scientific evidence that babies in the womb feel pain much earlier than 20 weeks, certainly as early as 17 weeks.
Along those lines, a bill to protect babies who survive abortions, such as last session’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Act patroned by Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpepper, are also reasonable and necessary, considering former Northam’s comments suggesting babies who survive late-term abortions in the commonwealth don’t automatically deserve life-saving care.
Bills such as these and others that could provide pregnant women with better information about various resources available to them across Virginia as well as much needed safety measures that protect women, and not the abortion industry, are all sensible at this point in time. Virginia’s pro-life legislators are moving in the right direction by striving to pass laws that will protect mothers and their babies. They deserve our support to do so.
Rational people can agree on laws that respect human life and create a more supportive environment for every mother and child. The numbers just don’t indicate that anyone outside the abortion industry really believes that totally unregulated abortion up to birth or beyond should be allowed.
It’s time to seek reasonable laws that reasonable people can support.
Editor’s note. This appeared at the Virginia Pilot.