Once again, radical pro-choice groups are changing their public relations strategy because they fear that their tired pro-abortion message isn’t playing well with the public.
As they have before, they want to distance themselves from their rigid pro-abortion stance in which any abortion at any time for any reason must be legal. This time they’re trying to persuade the public that the “real” issue is “reproductive freedom.” Previous messages have touted “reproductive rights,” and “abortion access.” Not that anyone is really in favor of abortion, you see.
To rationalize this change, they are relying on a new public opinion poll by Avalanche Strategy that argues that “most Americans support reproductive freedom and oppose government bans.” The poll concludes that “72 percent of American voters support the right to the procedure.”
This is accurate, but deceptive. Unconscionably so.
It would be as if pro-life groups said that 74 percent of those polled favored government-restrictions on abortion. Which also is accurate, but deceptive.
To explain why, I turn to the tried and true Gallup poll that has been sampling public opinion about abortion for years and years. What they found is a remarkably consistent view over the years that, most recently, found that 53 percent said abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances, while 25 percent said it should be legal under any circumstances and 21 percent said it should be illegal in all circumstances. By combining the 53 percent and 21 percent, I can supposedly conclude that more people (74 percent) want to restrict abortions than those that don’t (25 percent).
This is the kind of legerdemain that pro-choice groups are using to give the impression that the vast majority is on their side. Their side, as in the case of NARAL and Planned Parenthood, opposes any restrictions on abortion, a view shared by only 25 percent of those polled.
Among the “government bans” (read: restrictions) that a majority or plurality of Americans favor, according to Gallup polling, are notifying the husband before an abortion, showing an ultra-sound to the mother prior to the abortion, a woman under 18 to get parental consent, requiring doctors to describe the risks of an abortion, and more.
Truth is, most Americans remain in the middle ground on abortion, but the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has placed the question of abortion restrictions in the hands of judges, instead of in the hands of the voters and their legislatures–where it should be. And not where NARAL and Planned Parenthood want it.
Correction: I’ve updated to correct the percentages in the paragraph beginning “To explain why….”
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