Monday, July 25, 2016

Pro-Life Nation

We're sometimes told that a majority of people in the country favor a woman having the right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy or to terminate it via abortion.

The claim is a little misleading. Pro-choice advocates use it to defend the policy of allowing a woman to tend a pregnancy at any time until just prior to birth, and as is the case with extremists like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, while the baby is being born and even after the baby has emerged completely from the mother.

This is not, however, how many pro-choicers understand their position.

A recent Marist survey of 1,009 adults conducted July 5-12 found that 62 percent of people who identify themselves as pro-choice want to limit abortion to the first three months. Kathryn Lopez at National Review summarizes the results:
Though 51 percent of Americans say they are pro-choice, about 8 in 10 Americans support substantial restrictions on abortion (78 percent), and would limit it to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This number includes 62 percent of those who identify as pro-choice, 85 percent of African Americans and 84 percent of Latinos.
Clearly, there's a disconnect between the average pro-choice individual and groups like Planned Parenthood which want no restrictions at all placed on when an abortion can be obtained. Among other findings of the poll, according to Lopez, were these:
Taxpayer funding for abortion is opposed by 62 percent of Americans. This includes 65 percent of African Americans, 61 percent of Latinos, and 45 percent of those who say they are pro-choice, as well as 84 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Independents and 44 percent of Democrats.

Concerning the recent Supreme Court decision, Nearly 8 in 10 Americans (78 percent) want abortion clinics to be held to the same standards as other outpatient surgery centers. This includes 77 percent of African Americans and 82 percent of Latinos, as well as 77 percent of women, and 84 percent of millennials. About three quarters of those who identify as pro-choice (74 percent) agree, as do strong majorities regardless of party affiliation.

In addition, 70 percent of Americans want doctors who perform abortions to be required to have hospital admitting privileges. This includes 71 percent of women, 77 percent of millennials, and 78 percent of Latinos, Pro-life and pro-choice adherents are also equally likely to support such a requirement at a rate of 7 in 10 for each group (71 percent).

And by almost 20 points, a majority of Americans (56 percent to 37 percent) do not believe that healthcare providers should be forced to perform abortions against their conscience or religious beliefs. This includes 6 in 10 Latinos (61 percent) and 4 in 10 who identify as pro-choice (41 percent).
Maybe the Marist poll is inaccurate, or maybe the numbers have always looked like this, but if not, there seems to be a tectonic shift in attitudes taking place in this country concerning the practice of abortion, and folks like the Democrat party elites and Planned Parenthood look like extremists occupying the nether fringes of mainstream public opinion.

Maybe it's time to redefine what we mean by "pro-choice" and reevaluate what it means to be "pro-life."