Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Most or All Abortions

Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) - A new poll conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University shows a majority of Americans say abortions should either always be illegal or that abortions should be allowed in only very rare circumstances. In summary, most Americans oppose most abortions.

Asked which of three views on abrotion comes closest to representing theirs, 12 percent of those polled said abortions should always be illegal. Another 44 percent said abortions should be allowed only in cases of rape or incest or when the pregnancy directly endangers the mother's physical health.

Such cases constitute as little as 2 or 3 percent of all reasons for an abortion, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood.
Just 39 percent in the VCU survey say abortions should always be legal.

That means 56 percent of Americans oppose approximately 97 percent of the abortions performed annually in the United States and fewer than 4 in 10 support abortion.

That squares with other recent polls.

An August 2005 CBS News poll found 53 percent of respondents said all or most abortions should not be permitted and only 43 percent said all or most abortions should be permitted.

Also, an April 2005 Gallup Poll showed most Americans oppose most abortions. According to the poll, 59 percent of Americans say they oppose all or most abortions.
The Virginia Commonwealth University Life Sciences Survey conducted telephone interviews with 1,002 American adults from September 14-29. The margin of error in the poll is three percent.

That is very good news. I remember when I was in my twenties, abortion on demand was a very popular issue. Both my wife and I supported it at the time. My wife was a practicing nurse who believed the procedure would only be used by women who were in dire straits; I was your basic heathen who pretty much bought the whole notion of the autonomous self.

We have obviously changed our minds since then. Medically, abortion turned out to be a procedure of expedience, not a procedure of last resort. My “autonomous self” pretty much ran aground on the sandbar of reality in the late seventies. And when we had Beloved-but-Expensive Daughter a few years later, the real significance of what abortion involved finally sank in. The last poll I saw while my wife was still active in nursing showed that most nurses had turned against abortion on demand. Most of our sixties contemporaries have raised families, and a lot of them have changed their viewpoints because of looking at their own kids.

The kids themselves aren’t stupid, either; they know that in the United States of America, they are alive not because of any “inalienable right” but because their parents decided not to kill them. That has got to impact your view on abortion! And, of course, people who have abortions don’t have as many kids as people who don’t. A lot of the potential pro-abortion voting block was, well, aborted.

Now if the president will just pay attention to his base and get the Gang of Nine Supreme Court turned around, the whole issue will wind up going back to the states where it belongs. Texas and Oklahoma will probably get rid of it; Massachusetts and Connecticut will almost certainly keep it; and who knows - California might make it mandatory for humans and forbid it for fur-bearing mammals.