A new Gallup poll brings encouraging news on the subject of abortion. Fifty percent of American adults now define themselves as pro-life (up 5% from 2011), and 41% of American adults now define themselves as pro-choice (down 8% from 2011).
Gallup first started asking American adults how they define themselves on the abortion issue back in 1995. At that time, 56% of American adults considered themselves pro-choice, whereas 33% of adults defined themselves as pro-life. Clearly, over the past seventeen years, the trend in this country has been steadily moving toward the pro-life position and away from the pro-choice position, with the majority of American adults now considering themselves pro-life.
According to the poll, the decline in the pro-choice views of American adults runs across the three main political groups in this country: Republican, Independent, and Democrat.
Among Republicans and Independents, pro-lifers outnumber pro-choicers. Seventy-two percent of Republicans consider themselves pro-life (up 4% from 2011) compared with 22% who consider themselves pro-choice (down 6% from 2011). Forty-seven percent of Independents define themselves as pro-life (up 6% from 2011) compared with 41% who define themselves as pro-choice (down 10% from 2011).
Although pro-choice Democrats still outnumber pro-life Democrats, the percentage of pro-choice Democrats has dropped ten points in the last year, from 68% to 58%. Pro-life Democrats currently make up 34% of the Party, which is a seven point increase over the same time period.
The upward pro-life trend in the country is not limited to older adults. A 2010 Gallup poll illustrates that Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine have been moving in the pro-life direction. In 2003, 40% of that age group considered themselves pro-life. By 2010, that percentage had increased seven points to 47%.
I think there are short and long term reasons for the increase in the pro-life position over the past seventeen years since Gallup first starting polling on this matter.
The short term reasons deal with the Obama Administration, which has been ardently pushing its pro-abortion agenda for the past three years. It started almost from the moment President Obama took office when he issued an Executive Order overturning the “Mexico City Policy” and allowed our tax money to be used overseas to fund abortions.
Recently, it became known that the Obama Administration is imposing an abortion surcharge, as part of ObamaCare, that will require those enrolled in certain job-related health insurance plans to pay a monthly one dollar surcharge to pay for abortions.
In addition, the Obama Administration recently came down with its HHS mandate, requiring people of faith who own businesses with fifty or more employees to provide their employees with abortion-inducing drugs. The HHS mandate has been met with many lawsuits, including one recently filed by the American Center for Law & Justice on behalf of a private business owner, and the twelve lawsuits filed this past week by forty-three Catholic organizations, including the University of Notre Dame, the Michigan Catholic Conference, and the Archdiocese of New York.
The Obama Administration’s radical pro-abortion efforts have forced Americans to think about the abortion issue more carefully and to determine where they stand on the matter. As the poll shows, a majority of Americans are deciding to stand on the side of life and not join the Obama Administration on the side of death.
With regard to long term reasons, over the past two decades technology has moved Americans in the pro-life direction. With the wide availability of ultrasounds, Americans can see that the unborn baby is truly a human being and not a blob of tissue as the abortion industry used to make people believe, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Looking at an ultrasound image of an unborn baby leads to only one conclusion: the unborn baby is a person, no matter how small (to paraphrase Dr. Seuss).
Moreover, one must acknowledge that this pro-life trend has been growing because of the great work pro-life advocates have been doing through the many excellent activities they engage in on a regular basis, for example, providing women alternatives to abortion, educating the public about abortion, witnessing each year at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and praying to soften the hardened hearts of those who favor abortion and end this evil.
The recent poll is a heartening illustration that we as a nation are moving in the right direction. This trend will continue as more and more Americans realize how extreme the Obama Administration’s abortion agenda is and how that agenda is implicating all of us in abortion whether through the use of our tax money or through our health insurance policies at work. It will also continue as more and more Americans become educated and understand that abortion ends the life of a human being. And, it will continue as more and more Americans pray for the culture of life to replace the culture of death in this country.
Edward White is Senior Counsel with the ACLJ and has been practicing law for more than twenty years. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he was a Thomas J. White Center for Law & Government Scholar and managing and student articles editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.