“We are hopelessly divided on abortion.”
I’ve heard that sentiment expressed numerous times. And in many ways it does seem like that.
New research finds 51% of Americans call themselves pro-choice, 44% say they are pro-life, and only 4% are unsure.
Meanwhile, 56% say abortion is morally wrong, 41% say it’s morally acceptable, and 3% say it’s not a moral issue.
But if you go past those number, Americans have more in common on abortion than you may think.
More than three-fourths (78%) say our laws can protect both the health and well-being of the mother and the life of the unborn. Even 73% of the pro-choice and 73% of Democrats believe that to be the case.
Only 12% of Americans believe abortion should be available at any time during a pregnancy. Three-fourths of all Americans, including 61% of all Democrats and 60% of those who call themselves “pro-choice,” want significant restrictions on abortion.
When you get to specifics, here are Americans’ views on abortion:
- Available at any time: 12%
- Only during the first 6 months: 11%
- Only during the first 3 months: 26%
- Only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother: 30%
- Only to save the life of the mother: 12%
- Should never be permitted under any circumstance: 8%
Some recent legal attempts to restrict abortion have been labeled as “extreme,” but have broad support across the country.
In December, Ohio became the third state to outlaw abortions where tests reveal the baby has or likely has Down syndrome.
A clear majority (64%) of Americans think abortions done because of such genetic disorders are morally wrong, including half (49%) of pro-choice Americans.
In October, the U.S. House recently passed a bill outlawing abortion after 20 weeks.
Planned Parenthood called the bill “out-of-touch” and “unpopular,” yet 63% of Americans support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks except to save the life of the mother.
Despite the abortion provider’s insistence that such a law lacks support, 56% of people who call themselves pro-choice support it.
The percentage who favor such a ban has actually increased in the past year, including a 7-point jump among Democrats (49% to 56%).
Globally, it’s the Planned Parenthood stance that is extreme. The only nations in the world that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks are:
- North Korea
- United States
This is one claim that is agreed upon by both sides of the abortion debate (even if groups like Planned Parenthood are not eager to admit it) and has been fact checked by The Washington Post.
I’ve made my position clear. I am opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
Regardless of whether they agree with me completely, most Americans agree that we should enact additional legal restrictions on abortion.
That’s quite the common ground not many are discussing.