Bioethics

42 Years Later, Here’s Where Americans Stand on Abortion

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 01/22/2015

Today is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and a good time to report on a recent poll that tried to get beyond the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” labels people claim for themselves to determine their specific views about abortion. From Kate Scanlon at The Daily Signal:

According to the poll, 47 percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-life, and 49 percent as pro-choice.

But it’s not that simple—Americans’ views on abortion are “complex.”

When respondents were offered “additional options,” a “good deal of common ground is revealed” between the two sides.

Eighty-four percent of respondents support some form of “significant restrictions” on abortion; such as limiting legal abortions to the first trimester of pregnancy, only allowing abortion in cases involving rape, incest or risk of maternal death—or not at all.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents who identified as “pro-choice” supported the same restrictions.

Only nine percent support legal abortion “at any time” during all nine months of pregnancy, and only 17 percent of those who identified as “pro-choice” support legal abortion throughout an entire pregnancy.

Please don’t miss this: Only 9% of Americans support unrestricted abortion. 84% support “significant restrictions.” Eighty-four percent. Never assume you know what a person thinks about abortion just because she says she’s “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” Always ask specific questions and work from there.

Our laws aren’t just out of step with our people, they’re out of step with the world. Only seven countries in the world have laws as extreme as ours, allowing elective abortions after 20 weeks. We share that “honor” with China and North Korea.

Here are a few more posts to read and pass around today: