In a remarkable poll, Gallup revealed only 29 percent of Americans surveyed believe abortion should be legal under all circumstances, with more than two-thirds (68 percent) favoring legal restrictions on the practice.
In its June 11 survey, Gallup found that 50 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal only in certain circumstances while an additional 18 percent believe it should never be legal for any reason. A total of 68 percent reject abortion-on-demand, saying that abortion should be legally restricted.
Perhaps more significantly, a majority of Americans (53 percent) now say that abortion should be legal in few (35 percent) or no circumstances (18 percent).
There has also been an important shift in self-identification regarding abortion, Gallup found. In 1995, when Gallup first asked citizens whether they identified as “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” a substantial majority (56 percent) said they were “pro-choice,” while a mere 33 percent said they were “pro-life.”
Today the number of those who identify as “pro-choice” has dropped by 8 percentage points and in 2018 only 48 percent identify with that label. As many Americans identify as “pro-life” (48 percent) as they do “pro-choice” (48 percent).
Since the mid-1990s, those who self-identify as “pro-life” have jumped by 15 percent, from 33 percent to 48 percent, which marks an important sea change in public perception.
Today 48 percent of Americans also believe abortion to be morally wrong while only 43 percent say it is morally acceptable, a statistically significant difference of 5 points. Since it first began asking the question about the morality of abortion, at no time have a majority of Americans found it to be morally acceptable, Gallup revealed.
In a recent tirade, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, Dawn Laguens, said that pro-life efforts to place certain legal restrictions on abortion are “anti-woman” and “anti-autonomy.”
Laguens’ June 7 essay in Medium, titled “The Patriarchy is Wobbling” ignores an essential characteristic of the pro-life movement in America: most women back abortion restrictions.
As Jeanne Mancini noted in early 2017, “the overwhelming majority of women in this country want abortion restricted, and don’t want it funded by tax dollars. A majority also think it is morally wrong and that it causes more harm than good to women in the long run.”
Mancini was referring to a Marist poll that found that nationwide, more women than men (77 percent) support limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester.
The survey also revealed that 61 percent of women think it is important, or an immediate priority, for the government to restrict abortion in this way.
When Planned Parenthood presumes to speak for American women in its fight to keep abortion-on-demand legal always and everywhere, it is actually speaking just for a small minority of women.
Most women disagree.
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