Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the results of a new Gallup poll on abortion:
In a survey released June 11, Gallup found that a majority of Americans, 53%, say abortion should be legal in only a few circumstance (35%) or in no circumstances (18%). This means that most Americans reject abortion-on-demand, the effective ruling of the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
The survey also found that as many Americans identify as “pro-life” (48%) as they do “pro-choice” (48%).
Importantly, more Americans, 48%, believe abortion to be morally wrong; 43% disagree.
Gallup senior editor Jeffrey M. Jones offered an interpretation that deserves a rebuttal.
Jones could have written that the survey results show how out of touch Roe v. Wade is with the public, but he elected not to comment.
Jones also says that “During the 1990s—when Gallup first asked the question [about identifying as “pro-choice” or “pro-life”]—more Americans personally identified as pro-choice than as pro-life by 51% to 40%, on average.”
In fact, those results are from the second survey on this issue. The first one showed that 56% of Americans identified as “pro-choice” compared to a mere 33% who said they were “pro-life.” In other words, the “pro-choice” side has declined by 8% (56% to 48%) since the mid-1990s, while the “pro-life” side jumped by 15% (33% to 48%). That’s a huge difference, yet Jones says nothing about it.
“By a slim five-percentage-point margin, 48% to 43%,” Jones says, “Americans believe abortion is wrong from a moral perspective.” Five percentage points is not huge, but neither is it “slim.” Furthermore, the difference is statistically significant.
Jones will not be alone in downplaying the good news. Don’t look for the mainstream media to run headlines saying, “Majority of Americans Oppose Roe v. Wade.” Nor will they tout the fact that more Americans think abortion is morally wrong than are okay with it. And they certainly won’t discuss why the pro-life side is ascendant, climbing 15% since the mid-1990s.
Whenever there is bad news on abortion, look for the media to highlight it. Whenever there is good news, look for them to bury it. That’s why so few have any respect for journalism these days. The dishonesty is rampant.