Tuesday’s Gallup poll results from May 3–6, show that 50% of citizens label themselves as “pro-life,” as compared with a new low of 41% calling themselves “pro-choice.” (see NRLC analysis here) Other Gallup questions attempt to further characterize abortion positions:
- 20% of Americans said abortion should be “illegal in all circumstances,”
- 39% said that it should be “legal only in a few circumstances,”
- 13% said it should be “legal under most circumstances,” and
- 25% said it should be “legal under all circumstances.”
However, the polling questions don’t specify which abortions are not supported by the 13% who want to be distinguished from the group of 25% accepting all abortions.
Other than representing a convenient construct on the pollsters’ continuum, we see no evidence of such a sector of opinion supporting “most, but not all” abortions. Certainly, the Kansas mainstream media does not belong to this group, as they never recommend even qualified support for any abortion-restricting provision.
Supporters of “most, but not all” abortions never show up to testify about abortion-restricting measures at the Statehouse! We only hear from the all-abortion crowd, and they oppose every abortion restriction.
As an example, after an eight-year federal battle to end partial-birth abortions, absolutist abortion advocates nationwide began to vocally distance themselves from supporting these procedures. However, no abortion-supportive group expressed any opposition in Kansas to partial-birth abortions. A state ban using the federally-approved language was finally enacted in 2011 under Gov. Brownback.
Here’s another example. This year’s multi-faceted Pro-Life Protections Act has a provision that would ban abortions for reasons of gender preferences. Would some —particularly feminists—find this to be an example of an intolerable abortion? Nope, not a peep of support for this ban from abortion-supportive voices.
Over the years, Kansas has not witnessed selective, or “qualified” opposition from abortion-supporters to:
- partial-birth abortions;
- gender discriminating abortions;
- multiple abortions for birth control;
- abortions upon minors without parental involvement;
- eugenic abortions;
- dangerous self-administered abortions by pill;
- coerced abortions.
Abortion-supporters protect all these examples, so what possible abortions are left that this supposed 13% group would oppose?
It seems clear that the existence of this category supporting “most, but not all” abortions merely functions as a hiding place for polled individuals who don’t want to admit they are abortion absolutists.
Follow-up post: examining the “pro-life with exceptions” category.