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Matt Vespa


April 13, 2013 - 5:18 am

After the 2012 elections, pro-lifers found themselves in the minority.  Thanks to moronic comments by Republican Senate candidates Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, some of my colleagues felt that the pro-life movement was irreparably harmed. Yet, a new WSJ/NBC poll shows that’s not true, but it also indicates that the country isn’t shifting more pro-life either.  Nonetheless, a majority of Americans feel that abortions should be illegal ‘in most or all circumstances.’  Allahpundit at Hot Air posted yesterday that:

The new numbers are in line with most of the other data over the last 10 years. Americans aren’t becoming more pro-choice but they’re not really becoming more pro-life either. (If the Gosnell story breaks out in a big way, that may change in the next round of polling.) The good news: The January numbers showing 54 percent in favor of legal abortion in most or all circumstances looks like an outlier. Either it’s statistical noise or the Akin/Mourdock backlash from last summer finally faded and left pollsters with the pre-2012 status quo. At the very least, you can take the new numbers as a sign that Republicans’ efforts to limit abortion at the state level aren’t generating a backlash (yet).

Allahpundit notes that for the 45% who favor abortion, most of them agree that the procedure should be permitted if the life of the mother is at risk, or to terminate a pregnancy that was conceived through a rape.  That’s where Akin and Mourdock went wrong, and invoking some sort of divine plan, as Mourdock did, was seen as insensitive and out of touch.  Moreover, such a comment was unnecessary.  Indiana had two pro-life candidates running for the U.S. Senate.

The pro-life movement is back on top. Yet work still needs to be done concerning tilting the needle towards building a culture that respects life.  Pro-life Americans can rejoice with this new data, but should also be aware that if Gosnell’s atrocities don’t sway minds on abortion, as Allahpundit noted, it will be hard to convince voters.  It’s a good point.  If the snipping of spines of babies and keeping fetuses’ feet preserved in jars don’t make pro-abortionists rethink their position, then can we safely say that the culture war on this issue will be stalemated?

George Will aptly noted that public opinion is shiftable sand, which prohibits permanent victories in democracy.  He hasn’t mentioned anything about a perpetual deadlock.

Matt Vespa is a web editor at and occasional writer for Hot Air, RedState, and Townhall Magazine.

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Here's the thing . . .
What exactly constitutes "most circumstances" versus "certain exceptions"?
If those both mean sexual assault and life of the mother, with birth defects likely being included as well, then they are in fact the same category, with only the phrasing of the question creating a different starting point.

That means what you really have is a vast ~60% of people who think abortion should be legal in those three cases, ~20% who extend it to a few more categories of personal circumstances, ~10% who restrict it even more, and ~10% who favor it in truly extreme cases (sex selection, race selection, mental or physical ability selection, and the like).
Of course phrasing it that way would be "inconvenient" to the minorities on both extremes, so they have to constantly massage the statistics and the questions so they can claim that an true majority "really" favors their side.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
so the sun rises, and falls, the seasons come and go, all obvious to the casual observer, but murder I guess is more does this mean if gramma is a nasty witch, we need to haul her off to the glue factory?...depending on the conditions in life, sometimes it's convenient to kill, it's great more people are coming around, but something as obvious as murder taking a long time to be realized is a very depressing thought, or not?
1 year ago
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