The Growing Majority
Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?
Over the course of the past decade, Americans have been waking up to the scientific facts and moral implications regarding abortion. During this time, pro-life groups have worked to educate the public on the reality of what it means to be “pro-life” versus “pro-choice.” Thanks in part to sonogram technology, developments in the field of fetology, and the exposure of the grim reality of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, a growing majority of Americans now consider themselves “pro-life.” In 2009, Gallup even suggested that it has been President Obama’s overreach on abortion that has pushed the pro-choice ideology to the extreme, increasing the number of Americans that identify with Life.
In May 2012, Gallup polling found that the number of Americans that describe themselves as “pro-choice” is at an all-time low, at 41 %. On the other hand, 50% of Americans describe themselves as pro-life.
Source: Gallup, 2012
Pro-life Across Political Ideologies
Gallup’s 2012 poll also shows a shift across political lines. 47% of independents describe themselves as pro-life, putting the number of pro-choice independents at an all-time low of 41%. This number has dropped 15 points since 2001, while the number of independents identifying as “pro-life” has risen 17% in the same timeframe. Similarly, never before have there been fewer pro-choice Republicans, with just 22% of GOP voters describing themselves as such. The number of pro-choice Democrats is also at its lowest point in almost a decade, at just 58%.
Source: Gallup, 2012
2011 polling showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with pro-life positions. Even a majority of pro-choice Americans believe in informed consent for mothers, abortion bans in the third trimester, bans on partial-birth abortions, required parental consent for minors, 24-hour waiting periods, and abortion bans in the second trimester.
Similarly, an April 2010 poll by CBS and The New York Times found that the majority of Americans fully support additional restrictions and limitations on abortions, including parental consent requirements and longer waiting periods before abortion. Even those who self-identify as “pro-choice” seem to adhere to the mentality of “safe, legal, and rare,” which suggests that even those who support abortion rights understand that it is not simply a matter of “choice.”
These results show that, despite its legality instituted over 30 years ago, abortion is not an accepted and expected occurrence and that reservation is growing across all demographics.
Source: CBS/NY Times Poll April 2010
Young People are Increasingly Pro-life
The pro-life movement is making exceptional gains among young American voters. Upon her resignation in 2012, NARAL President Nancy Keegan stated that there is a large “intensity gap” among young people on the subject of abortion. An internal poll by NARAL shows that 51% of pro-life young people see abortion as an important electoral issue, while only 20% of pro-choice young people feel the same way.
In 2009, Pro-Lifers became a majority for the first time since Roe v. Wade. In 2010, Gallup declared that “pro-life is the new normal.” In 2012, those identifying as “pro-choice” reached their smallest numbers since polling began. As the number of pro-life Americans begins to grow, the pro-choice movement has seen its numbers dwindle. The Pro-Life Majority is growing!
More Than “Choice”: The Morality of Abortion
Despite abortion’s legality, the majority of Americans (52%) believe that abortion is morally unacceptable. According to a study by the Pew Research Center in 2009, this 52% includes even a portion of those who identify themselves as “pro-choice”: those who are personally opposed to abortion but unwilling to take away a woman’s “right to choose.”
America is a nation that highly values privacy and freedom. Many Americans who claim to be personally opposed to abortion cite these values as justification for stepping aside while women make the choice of abortion. It is up to the next generation of pro-life leaders to continue to work to expel the myth that abortion is simply a personal choice made between a woman and her doctor—the child in the womb is there too.
Source: Pew Research Center Aug. 2009
Abortion is Not Health Care
A December 2009 Quinnipiac survey found that 72% of Americans opposed funding abortions through any federally run health plan. Americans may want better health care, but not at the expense of promoting abortion. Opposition to abortion funding includes 74% of political independents, the swing vote that determines U.S. election outcomes.
With the knowledge that the majority of Americans are pro-life and opposed to taxpayer funding of abortion, in the spring of 2010—the pinnacle of the health care debate—the SBA List commissioned further polling to prove it. Conducted by the polling companyTM, inc./WomanTrend, polling throughout the districts of twenty of the self-identified “pro-life” Democrats found that across the board, constituents opposed taxpayer funding of abortion. Constituents were also asked if they would vote to re-elect their representative if they voted for a health care bill that included federal funding of abortion. In most cases, the majority of voters responded with an overwhelming “no.”
Full polling results are available here.