Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gallup's latest poll says 54% of Americans want to restrict abortion

Every year Gallup does a national poll on the issue of abortion, and this result is the same every year: a majority of Americans want all or most abortions to be illegal.

Gallup's latest poll was released on June 9. Their annual polls haven't shown much change in recent years, but there are still a few patterns worth mentioning. This year Gallup reported that 54% of Americans want all or most abortions to be illegal. The stand-out number was just 29% of people thought that abortion should be legal in all circumstances. In 1973 abortion was legalized in all circumstances in the United States when unelected justices on the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Only 29% of Americans agree with Roe v. Wade, allowing abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

The flip-side of this is 68% of people are on a spectrum of either wanting abortion to be illegal in all cases or legal only under certain circumstances. Let's focus on that again: 68% of Americans say they want to alter our current abortion law. Confusingly Gallup polls show most Americans don't want to revisit Roe v. Wade, confirming what we've known for decades: most Americans don't understand Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. The media and our education system fails time and again in their responsibility of accurately explaining these two landmark cases.

An increasing number of Americans say abortion is morally wrong, trending up to 49% from 45% in 2015. Those who think that abortion is morally acceptable is 43%, down from 45% in 2015. This trend is an encouraging indication that we are moving in the right direction with prolife messaging, especially considering the release of the videos highlighting Planned Parenthood's organ harvesting schemes. With continued education we can continue to win over the hearts and minds of people, keeping the current trend going.

The Gallup poll also highlighted once again that there are few differences between how men and women view abortion. Slightly more men said they were prolife (48%) than women (43%). An interesting result is that 49% of women view abortion as morally wrong (48% of men agree), which doesn’t line up with 43% of women saying they are prolife. It's a long-standing problem that many people who believe that abortion is morally wrong and who would vote to ban most abortions often think of themselves as "pro-choice."

While partisan elected officials have become increasingly divided over abortion, the actual voters in each party continue to show some variance. In the poll 61% of Republicans, 48% of Independents, and 26% of Democrats considered themselves "prolife." Those numbers should be highlighted more often, especially with the current Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez threatening to ban prolife Democrats from their own party.

Contrary to predictions shortly after Roe v. Wade that Americans would come to know and love abortion, long-term trends show the prolife movement is gaining traction in public opinion. The last few years have showed little change, however, though the prolife movement has moved confidently to enact prolife policies at the state and national level. Even though prolife legislation often creates controversy, this controversy is not driving people away from the message than unborn children deserve to be valued as members of our human family.

American’s ambivalence and confusion on abortion shows that we have more work to do as we further educate people on the realities of abortion. We know that the more people know about our issue, the more prolife they will become. Ambivalence and confusion sown by the abortion industry greatly helps their efforts.

With 68% of American’s wanting to move away from the status quo of Roe v. Wade and 54% wanting to effectively ban most abortions, it is obvious that we have public opinion in our corner. Even after decades of repeated indoctrination from our media, culture and education system, the abortion industry can not convince most Americans to believe abortion is a positive good.

No law in the U.S. Congress would ever be able to pass with just 29% of congressman voting for it. There is no reason that we should have a law that only 29% of people agree with; a law that voters or their representatives never enacted. Roe v. Wade is undeniably anti-democratic.