New Abortion Polling Shows How The Pro-Life Side Can Win

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Is pro-life a losing issue in the United States?

Not at all.

Many pro-legal-abortion commentators strut as if the American people are behind them. Yet a recent Harvard-Harris poll tells us otherwise. It finds that many people already support pro-life policies and there is potential for pro-lifers to win over an overwhelming majority of the American people.

Although the poll found that the American people oppose the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling overturning Roe v. Wade by 55 percent to 45 percent, respondents’ opinions of abortion are nuanced, and they tend to flow in a pro-life direction.

Large portions of the population are troubled by abortion and want the government to do something about it.

The poll found that 37 percent of Americans support an outright ban on abortion that makes exceptions for rape and incest. However, that jumps to 49 percent support for a ban on abortion after six weeks — when the unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected. And when it comes to 15-week bans, like the one in the Dobbs case, 72 percent of the American public (including 60 percent of self-identified Democrats) support that type of restriction.

For reference, the earliest gestational limits allowed before Roe v. Wade was overturned was 20 weeks; the gestational limit on abortion remains 24 weeks in Massachusetts (with later exceptions even for that).

In other words:  Late limits enacted by abortion-friendly politicians are outliers among the American people, the poll shows.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the poll:  only 10 percent of the American people say they support no gestational limit at all on abortion — the position held by many liberal politicians.

That means that theoretically, those on the pro-life side could earn support for at least some pro-life policies from 90 percent of the American public.

Now, when it comes to life-and-death matters, polls are meant to be moved, not followed. But this poll shows that pro-lifers begin the post-Roe era in a strong position. Not only are abortion supporters on the run in the courts and in most state legislatures, but the vast majority of the American people reject the grotesque positions to which public abortion supporters have committed.

A key point that can’t be overlooked:  The facts of abortion are becoming clearer and more widely understood. That alone is pushing people away from supporting abortion and toward the pro-life side.

Abortion intentionally kills a human being. Even many people on the pro-legal-abortion side acknowledge this fact.

Even abortion extremists like former first lady Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden have, at times, acknowledged that abortion kills a human being.

Clinton did so in an April 2016 interview with NBC’s Meet the Press; she used the term “unborn person” do describe the child in the mother’s womb.

“The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights,” Clinton said. “Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t do everything we possibly can in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support.”

And when speaking in defense of abortion during a press conference in May 2022, Joe Biden used the phrase “abort a child.” Again, he knows exactly what an abortion does:  kills an innocent human being. 

“I mean, so the idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think, goes way overboard,” Biden said.

It’s not that far a leap from acknowledging basic truths to arriving at inescapable conclusions.

Hillary and Uncle Joe seem unlikely to do that, of course. Too much is at stake for them. But for Americans out of the limelight who are thinking about this issue …

Well, it helps explain why 90 percent of the Ameircan public supports some type of gestational limit on abortion. There comes a point where they see abortion as killing a human being and therefore unacceptable.

Now, there appear to be people who support legal abortion side who don’t think it matters to kill a lesser-developed human being. Perhaps they’ll use the term “clump of cells” to describe an unborn person. (Couldn’t all human beings at any stage of development be described the same way?)

But even among many such people, there comes a point at which they say abortion is not O.K..

That’s enough to work with to win this issue.

If someone supports legal elective abortion for a limited gestational period — be it the first-trimester, 15 weeks, 20 weeks, 24 weeks, or even the first two trimesters — they’re conceding that there is something wrong with abortion after that point.

Why don’t they support later abortions? If a fetus has no rights …

Or do they see the fetus as a person?

If all we’re arguing about is the starting line, sooner or later you get to the obvious one.

Why? Well, what makes random gestational limits so special? Why is it O.K. to kill a child in utero at 23 weeks and six days old, but not at 24 weeks? Why 14 weeks two days. but not five days later?

The unborn child doesn’t magically become a person at that point. The unborn child has been a person since the moment of conception. 

Some, even at this late date, cite a supposed line of viability, when an unborn child could theoretically live outside the womb.

That’s a lousy standard, though. Many people aren’t viable on their own. A newborn baby certainly isn’t — nor are young children. The same is true of people with severe disabilities.

Fetal development charts could serve as a key tool to winning public opinion on this issue, too.

Look at this fetal development chart from the Virginia Department of Public Health. Even at just after zero weeks, the human being pictures as a human being — just like it is at 40 weeks.

Nationally, abortion isn’t a winning issue for abortion supporters. If it were, maybe it would help President Joe Biden’s approval rating, given his never-wavering support for abortion. Yet he had an abysmal 38.5 percent approval rating as of Monday, July 11, according to FiveThirtyEight.

It isn’t yet a winning issue for pro-lifers, either. As always, abortion is so ugly that most people prefer not to think about it — which prevents some people from thinking clearly about it.

So pro-lifers have to keep fighting as hard as they did the previous 50 years. Overturning Roe v. Wade was a nice first step, but abortion is still legal in most of the country. Justice requires eliminating abortion, once and for all. Doing so will take time and effort. 

Fortunately, the American people seem receptive to at least some of the message; it’s time to help them take a few more steps onto the pro-life side.


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