Three takeaways from Gallup abortion polling

Gallup recently released a series of articles on its latest abortion survey, which goes into much more detail than previous years. There’s far more data than I can realistically cover in a blog post, but here are three things that caught my eye.

Confusion about why women seek abortions: 60% of Americans say that abortion should “generally be legal” in the first trimester. (Second- and third-trimester abortions do not have majority support.) But when asked about specific reasons for having an abortion in the first trimester, a different picture emerges (click to enlarge):

Side note: the questions about first-trimester abortions for fetal disabilities don’t make sense. Down Syndrome and other issues are generally diagnosed later in pregnancy.

Abortion when the woman does not want the child for non-medical reasonsthat is, elective abortionis opposed by a majority of Americans, even in the first trimester! So how is it that 60% believe first trimester should generally be legal, while only 45% support first trimester elective abortion? “Generally legal” means allowing elective abortions! It’s the same question asked two different ways!

Unless… people are under the mistaken impression that most first trimester abortions are not elective. That explains the results. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of abortions—upwards of 75%are sought for socioeconomic reasons, not medical ones. Rape and incest account for less than 1.5% of abortions. Nearly a quarter of women cited “husband or partner wants me to have an abortion” as a reason.

We should emphasize the reasons women abort in our educational efforts. It’s also important to explain that widely supported limits on abortions after the first trimester cannot be put into place until Roe v. Wade and its progeny are overturned.

No Trump effect. I worried publicly that the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and pro-life organizations’ support for him, would tarnish the movement’s reputation and impair our ability to save lives. At the very least I thought that people with anti-abortion views would become shy, telling pollsters they were pro-choice or undecided in an effort to distance themselves from President Trump.

I’m very glad to have been wrong about this one. While Trump obviously remains a divisive figure, thankfully this hasn’t turned the public away from support for human life. In fact, the pro-life position has gained a couple of percentage points since 2016.

“Personally pro-life” is dead. In addition to asking whether abortion should be legal or illegal in various circumstances, Gallup also asks about the morality of abortion (emphasis added):

By a slim five-percentage-point margin, 48% to 43%, Americans believe abortion is wrong from a moral perspective. In fact, abortion is the moral issue among those tested on which the public is most closely divided.

The 43% who believe abortion to be morally acceptable matches the percentage who say it should be legal in all or most circumstances.

Since Gallup first measured attitudes about the morality of abortion in 2001, an average of 41% have regarded it as acceptable and 49% as wrong. Though attitudes have fluctuated, at no point have more Americans said abortion is morally acceptable than have said it is morally wrong.

Read that sentence again. Everyone surveyed who said abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances also said that abortion is morally acceptable. The bloc saying that abortion is morally unacceptable, but should be legal anywaythe infamous “personally pro-life” compromisehas vanished. And good riddance! It was always a cop-out. Now we can have a real debate about what abortion is and does.

Three takeaways from Gallup abortion polling

Gallup recently released a series of articles on its latest abortion survey, which goes into much more detail than previous years. There’s far more data than I can realistically cover in a blog post, but here are three things that caught my eye.

Confusion about why women seek abortions: 60% of Americans say that abortion should “generally be legal” in the first trimester. (Second- and third-trimester abortions do not have majority support.) But when asked about specific reasons for having an abortion in the first trimester, a different picture emerges (click to enlarge):

Side note: the questions about first-trimester abortions for fetal disabilities don’t make sense. Down Syndrome and other issues are generally diagnosed later in pregnancy.

Abortion when the woman does not want the child for non-medical reasonsthat is, elective abortionis opposed by a majority of Americans, even in the first trimester! So how is it that 60% believe first trimester should generally be legal, while only 45% support first trimester elective abortion? “Generally legal” means allowing elective abortions! It’s the same question asked two different ways!

Unless… people are under the mistaken impression that most first trimester abortions are not elective. That explains the results. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of abortions—upwards of 75%are sought for socioeconomic reasons, not medical ones. Rape and incest account for less than 1.5% of abortions. Nearly a quarter of women cited “husband or partner wants me to have an abortion” as a reason.

We should emphasize the reasons women abort in our educational efforts. It’s also important to explain that widely supported limits on abortions after the first trimester cannot be put into place until Roe v. Wade and its progeny are overturned.

No Trump effect. I worried publicly that the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and pro-life organizations’ support for him, would tarnish the movement’s reputation and impair our ability to save lives. At the very least I thought that people with anti-abortion views would become shy, telling pollsters they were pro-choice or undecided in an effort to distance themselves from President Trump.

I’m very glad to have been wrong about this one. While Trump obviously remains a divisive figure, thankfully this hasn’t turned the public away from support for human life. In fact, the pro-life position has gained a couple of percentage points since 2016.

“Personally pro-life” is dead. In addition to asking whether abortion should be legal or illegal in various circumstances, Gallup also asks about the morality of abortion (emphasis added):

By a slim five-percentage-point margin, 48% to 43%, Americans believe abortion is wrong from a moral perspective. In fact, abortion is the moral issue among those tested on which the public is most closely divided.

The 43% who believe abortion to be morally acceptable matches the percentage who say it should be legal in all or most circumstances.

Since Gallup first measured attitudes about the morality of abortion in 2001, an average of 41% have regarded it as acceptable and 49% as wrong. Though attitudes have fluctuated, at no point have more Americans said abortion is morally acceptable than have said it is morally wrong.

Read that sentence again. Everyone surveyed who said abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances also said that abortion is morally acceptable. The bloc saying that abortion is morally unacceptable, but should be legal anywaythe infamous “personally pro-life” compromisehas vanished. And good riddance! It was always a cop-out. Now we can have a real debate about what abortion is and does.

“I believe you’ve killed someone, but I will fight for your right to do it!”

Pro-choice Democrat Conor Lamb is the newest member of the House of Representatives, having squeaked out a special election win in Pennsylvania with just 641 more votes than his Republican opponent. The race was seen as a referendum on President Trump, who won the conservative district by 19 points in 2016.

There has been no shortage of commentary about what this means for the 2018 midterms, and in particular, whether Lambs’ “personally pro-life, politically pro-choice” schtick should be replicated by Democrats in other red districts. But much of this coverage has ignored a key variable, namely, the reason Pennsylvania was having a special election in the first place.

Remember Tim Murphy? He held the district and was forced to resign after he was revealed to be Lamb’s polar opposite: politically pro-life, but personally pro-choice. Pro-life organizations and voters alike were outraged when it came to light that Murphy had not only had an extramarital affair, but had encouraged his mistress to have an abortion. (She turned out not to be pregnant.)

There is no data to suggest that the district’s residents suddenly abandoned their pro-life principles en masse, but such a betrayal from a traditionally pro-life candidate could have made Lamb’s “personally pro-life” pitch more appealing. That doesn’t make either Lamb or his voters correct, of course—Lamb’s claim that he must vote pro-choice for reasons of church-state separation is particularly laughable—but I can understand why voters might have felt their vote wouldn’t necessarily lead to a truly pro-life legislator anyway, so why bother.

Abortion extremists, of course, are busy eating their own. At Slate, Christina Cauterucci writes that “personally pro-life” politicians have been known to back Choose Life license plates (the horror!) and popular, common-sense limitations like parental consent for abortions on minors and prohibitions on taxpayer subsidies to the abortion industry. Cauterucci also makes this interesting point:

By broadcasting his belief that, lawmaking aside, a fertilized egg is a human life, he’s essentially scolding women who’ve had abortions. “I believe you’ve killed someone, but I will fight for your right to do it!” may be the best progressives can hope for from those who are morally opposed to abortion, but it’s also a good way to alienate people on both sides of the issue.

While I obviously disagree with Cauterucci on the morality of abortion, she’s hit upon a critical insight here. In recent years, the abortion movement has been trying to distance itself from its traditionally anti-science lines of argument (e.g. “it’s just a clump of cells”) in favor of a more modern approach that acknowledges the lethal reality of abortion but justifies it anyway. Salon‘s 2013 article “So what if abortion ends life?” is a paradigmatic example. If Cauterucci is right that “I believe you’ve killed someone, but I will fight for your right to do it” alienates people, what messaging options does the abortion lobby have left?

The fundamental problem is that, in the long run, there is no way to both be honest and portray abortion in an attractive light. Abortion kills. Abortion targets the most vulnerable members of our human family. We must demand politicians who wholeheartedly oppose abortion—both personally, and politically.

“I believe you’ve killed someone, but I will fight for your right to do it!”

Pro-choice Democrat Conor Lamb is the newest member of the House of Representatives, having squeaked out a special election win in Pennsylvania with just 641 more votes than his Republican opponent. The race was seen as a referendum on President Trump, who won the conservative district by 19 points in 2016.

There has been no shortage of commentary about what this means for the 2018 midterms, and in particular, whether Lambs’ “personally pro-life, politically pro-choice” schtick should be replicated by Democrats in other red districts. But much of this coverage has ignored a key variable, namely, the reason Pennsylvania was having a special election in the first place.

Remember Tim Murphy? He held the district and was forced to resign after he was revealed to be Lamb’s polar opposite: politically pro-life, but personally pro-choice. Pro-life organizations and voters alike were outraged when it came to light that Murphy had not only had an extramarital affair, but had encouraged his mistress to have an abortion. (She turned out not to be pregnant.)

There is no data to suggest that the district’s residents suddenly abandoned their pro-life principles en masse, but such a betrayal from a traditionally pro-life candidate could have made Lamb’s “personally pro-life” pitch more appealing. That doesn’t make either Lamb or his voters correct, of course—Lamb’s claim that he must vote pro-choice for reasons of church-state separation is particularly laughable—but I can understand why voters might have felt their vote wouldn’t necessarily lead to a truly pro-life legislator anyway, so why bother.

Abortion extremists, of course, are busy eating their own. At Slate, Christina Cauterucci writes that “personally pro-life” politicians have been known to back Choose Life license plates (the horror!) and popular, common-sense limitations like parental consent for abortions on minors and prohibitions on taxpayer subsidies to the abortion industry. Cauterucci also makes this interesting point:

By broadcasting his belief that, lawmaking aside, a fertilized egg is a human life, he’s essentially scolding women who’ve had abortions. “I believe you’ve killed someone, but I will fight for your right to do it!” may be the best progressives can hope for from those who are morally opposed to abortion, but it’s also a good way to alienate people on both sides of the issue.

While I obviously disagree with Cauterucci on the morality of abortion, she’s hit upon a critical insight here. In recent years, the abortion movement has been trying to distance itself from its traditionally anti-science lines of argument (e.g. “it’s just a clump of cells”) in favor of a more modern approach that acknowledges the lethal reality of abortion but justifies it anyway. Salon‘s 2013 article “So what if abortion ends life?” is a paradigmatic example. If Cauterucci is right that “I believe you’ve killed someone, but I will fight for your right to do it” alienates people, what messaging options does the abortion lobby have left?

The fundamental problem is that, in the long run, there is no way to both be honest and portray abortion in an attractive light. Abortion kills. Abortion targets the most vulnerable members of our human family. We must demand politicians who wholeheartedly oppose abortion—both personally, and politically.

“Pro-choice” is NOT morally neutral



[Today’s guest post by Perri is part of our paid blogging program.]

A common self-perception that I have noticed among the pro-choice crowd is one of moral neutrality. Many see their position not as one which condones abortion, but as one which simply chooses not to answer the question of whether abortion is right or wrong. Some may even say “Well, personally I would never get an abortion (or encourage my partner to get an abortion), but I support a woman’s right to choose.”

They think that by removing themselves from the “choice,” they are removing themselves from the moral responsibility. Let’s test this approach with other laws. “Personally I wouldn’t rape anyone but I support a man’s right to choose” and “Personally I wouldn’t rob someone’s home, but I support a person’s right to choose” are clearly not morally neutral positions to take. It is, in fact, immoral to support someone’s right to choose an action that harms someone else. So, why the exception for abortion?

What initially appears to be mere hypocrisy reveals itself, upon further examination, to be an indication of the speaker’s true position. To see “pro-choice” as a morally neutral stance is to deny the personhood of the fetus, plain and simple. This stance implies that the fetus’ life is not worth the same level of protection and justice under the law as is afforded anyone else’s life. It is, essentially, to paint abortion as a victimless crime.

This inaccurate portrayal of the pro-choice position may be a thoughtless mistake for some, but it is a useful strategy for others. Framing pro-choice as the morally neutral, intellectually detached, “reasonable” position serves an important purpose—to paint the pro-life stance as fanatical, irrational, and extreme. We must fight this perception fiercely, as this is one of the main reasons why many people are turned off by the term “pro-life” and are shocked to learn that there are groups and individuals within the pro-life movement that are secular, feminist, and even sex-positive.

The next time you hear someone shrug their shoulders and say “It’s up to the woman. Who am I to decide?”, ask them if they think abortion is a victimless crime. Implore them to consider the life and perspective of the fetus. Explain to them that abortion is not an issue where one can comfortably sit on the fence, deaf to the scientific facts and blind to considerations of morality, ethics, and justice. This conversation will, at the very least, get them to glance over to our side of the fence, and, perhaps, start to lean in and wobble, losing poise on a previously sturdy point…

“Pro-choice” is NOT morally neutral



[Today’s guest post by Perri is part of our paid blogging program.]

A common self-perception that I have noticed among the pro-choice crowd is one of moral neutrality. Many see their position not as one which condones abortion, but as one which simply chooses not to answer the question of whether abortion is right or wrong. Some may even say “Well, personally I would never get an abortion (or encourage my partner to get an abortion), but I support a woman’s right to choose.”

They think that by removing themselves from the “choice,” they are removing themselves from the moral responsibility. Let’s test this approach with other laws. “Personally I wouldn’t rape anyone but I support a man’s right to choose” and “Personally I wouldn’t rob someone’s home, but I support a person’s right to choose” are clearly not morally neutral positions to take. It is, in fact, immoral to support someone’s right to choose an action that harms someone else. So, why the exception for abortion?

What initially appears to be mere hypocrisy reveals itself, upon further examination, to be an indication of the speaker’s true position. To see “pro-choice” as a morally neutral stance is to deny the personhood of the fetus, plain and simple. This stance implies that the fetus’ life is not worth the same level of protection and justice under the law as is afforded anyone else’s life. It is, essentially, to paint abortion as a victimless crime.

This inaccurate portrayal of the pro-choice position may be a thoughtless mistake for some, but it is a useful strategy for others. Framing pro-choice as the morally neutral, intellectually detached, “reasonable” position serves an important purpose—to paint the pro-life stance as fanatical, irrational, and extreme. We must fight this perception fiercely, as this is one of the main reasons why many people are turned off by the term “pro-life” and are shocked to learn that there are groups and individuals within the pro-life movement that are secular, feminist, and even sex-positive.

The next time you hear someone shrug their shoulders and say “It’s up to the woman. Who am I to decide?”, ask them if they think abortion is a victimless crime. Implore them to consider the life and perspective of the fetus. Explain to them that abortion is not an issue where one can comfortably sit on the fence, deaf to the scientific facts and blind to considerations of morality, ethics, and justice. This conversation will, at the very least, get them to glance over to our side of the fence, and, perhaps, start to lean in and wobble, losing poise on a previously sturdy point…

Senator Tim Kaine, the “Personally Pro-Life” Politician

Democratic Senator and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine has a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. That tells us everything we need to know. But for the sake of discourse, let’s examine some of Kaine’s statements on abortion:

I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn’t intrude.

In linking his “personally pro-life” beliefs to Catholicism and Catholicism alone, Kaine repeats a stereotype that the abortion lobby has promulgated for decades. If Kaine’s “traditional Catholic” upbringing were his sole reason for opposing abortion, then his politically pro-choice stance would be an affirmation of the separation of church and state. The government shouldn’t “intrude” upon anything just for the sake of enforcing a religious doctrine.

But where reason and religion happen to converge—as they do in laws against theft, for example—government action is entirely appropriate. As many Catholics acknowledge, opposition to abortion is supported by reason as well as doctrine. That’s why pro-life atheists like me exist. The science of prenatal development will not be found in scripture, and it is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that provides “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Not those who are old enough, not those who are conscious, not those who can live independently, not those who are wanted, but everyone.

Perhaps this is simply ignorance on Kaine’s part. Perhaps he truly doesn’t know why non-Catholics oppose abortion. Perhaps he simply accepts the Catholic position as what he is supposed to believe and leaves it at that. That intellectual laziness is not a promising characteristic for someone a heartbeat away from leadership of the United States.

If that is the case, and Kaine’s “personal opposition” to abortion truly doesn’t go beyond shallow parroting of a religious doctrine, another problem arises. Kaine was not always beholden to the abortion lobby. He used to have the endorsement of Democrats for Life of America (see here and here for how he lost it). As governor of Virginia he supported some moderate pro-life legislation, including informed consent, parental consent, and the partial-birth abortion ban. If his only reasons for doing so at the time were religious reasons, then he doesn’t understand church-state separation.

I don’t actually think Senator Kaine is ignorant. I think he knows exactly why abortion is wrong, he understands the separation of church and state, and he abandoned the cause of helpless children for the sake of political power.

I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don’t need to make people’s reproductive decisions for them.

In other words: Priorities, people! Over a million people die in abortions every year, but the government has too much on its plate to address that. Things more important than doing something about unborn children being torn limb from limb include “protecting animals and wildlife” because “the way our society treats animals is a reflection our humanity.” I kid you not, that’s straight from the Clinton/Kaine campaign website.

Senator Tim Kaine, the “Personally Pro-Life” Politician

Democratic Senator and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine has a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. That tells us everything we need to know. But for the sake of discourse, let’s examine some of Kaine’s statements on abortion:

I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn’t intrude.

In linking his “personally pro-life” beliefs to Catholicism and Catholicism alone, Kaine repeats a stereotype that the abortion lobby has promulgated for decades. If Kaine’s “traditional Catholic” upbringing were his sole reason for opposing abortion, then his politically pro-choice stance would be an affirmation of the separation of church and state. The government shouldn’t “intrude” upon anything just for the sake of enforcing a religious doctrine.

But where reason and religion happen to converge—as they do in laws against theft, for example—government action is entirely appropriate. As many Catholics acknowledge, opposition to abortion is supported by reason as well as doctrine. That’s why pro-life atheists like me exist. The science of prenatal development will not be found in scripture, and it is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that provides “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Not those who are old enough, not those who are conscious, not those who can live independently, not those who are wanted, but everyone.

Perhaps this is simply ignorance on Kaine’s part. Perhaps he truly doesn’t know why non-Catholics oppose abortion. Perhaps he simply accepts the Catholic position as what he is supposed to believe and leaves it at that. That intellectual laziness is not a promising characteristic for someone a heartbeat away from leadership of the United States.

If that is the case, and Kaine’s “personal opposition” to abortion truly doesn’t go beyond shallow parroting of a religious doctrine, another problem arises. Kaine was not always beholden to the abortion lobby. He used to have the endorsement of Democrats for Life of America (see here and here for how he lost it). As governor of Virginia he supported some moderate pro-life legislation, including informed consent, parental consent, and the partial-birth abortion ban. If his only reasons for doing so at the time were religious reasons, then he doesn’t understand church-state separation.

I don’t actually think Senator Kaine is ignorant. I think he knows exactly why abortion is wrong, he understands the separation of church and state, and he abandoned the cause of helpless children for the sake of political power.

I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don’t need to make people’s reproductive decisions for them.

In other words: Priorities, people! Over a million people die in abortions every year, but the government has too much on its plate to address that. Things more important than doing something about unborn children being torn limb from limb include “protecting animals and wildlife” because “the way our society treats animals is a reflection our humanity.” I kid you not, that’s straight from the Clinton/Kaine campaign website.

Poll results: Who is part of the pro-life movement?

Last Friday we posted a 2 question poll about who you consider “pro-lifers” and who you consider part of the “pro-life movement.”

The point of the poll was to explore how people define these terms. We considered four factors:

  1. Whether a person is politically active in fighting abortion.
  2. Whether a person thinks abortion should be illegal.
  3. Whether a person thinks abortion is immoral.
  4. Whether a person offers social support to pregnant or parenting people.

You can read the descriptions of our 8 hypothetical people on last Friday’s post, but here are the variables in chart form:

To our frustration, due to technical problems we couldn’t analyze the answers to the question “Who are the pro-lifers?” We’re sorry about that.

But at the time we analyzed the data (Sunday evening PST), we did have 130 people cast a total of 375 votes for who belongs to the pro-life movement. Here is the chart reordered from most accepted to least accepted person. The column on the far right is the percent of voters who cast a vote for that person (remember voters could pick as many of the 8 people as they liked).

A few notes:
  • 76% of the people who voted picked 3 people or less. Most of them picked people who think abortion should be illegal.
  • David, Anthony, and Mike are nearly tied. Apparently if a person doesn’t take some kind of action based on their beliefs, it doesn’t make much difference what they believe.
  • Given Elena got more votes than Anthony or even David, it seems voters value social support more than anti-abortion beliefs alone.
  • However voters valued political activism above all. Lucas was the ideal because he covered all fronts, but Christine wasn’t terribly far behind. And Christine got a lot more votes than Jen, even though both think abortion is wrong and should be illegal. Christine took political action, and Jen offered social support. It seems if voters have to pick between the two, they value political action more.
There were a few voters who chose “Other” and gave written explanations, which included:
  • “They all contribute to the pro-life movement in some way.”
  • “All seem part-time pro-life. Like most people, unfortunately.”
  • “All these people all are part of the *pro-life movement* – there is a need for all aspects of the community to take action on all levels.” [This comment went on to mention other consistent life issues but got cut off for some reason.]
  • “None.” [Presumably meant none of the 8 people are part of the pro-life movement.]
We also had several people comment about their thought processes on our FB post for the poll. It was great to see how many people said the poll got them thinking about our assumptions of what “pro-life movement” means.
I wish a real polling group like Gallup or Pew Research would put forth the same poll to a large number of people representing the demographics of the country. I’d be very interested to see how people who aren’t necessarily involved with our movement define the term “pro-live movement.” How do you think the answers might change?
And just for fun, here are all the locations people voted from, in alphabetical order. Is your area on the list?

Al Asimah
Alabama
Alberta
Auckland
British
Columbia
California
Cambridgeshire
Capital
Region
Caraga
Clare
Colorado
Community of
Madrid
Connecticut
District of
Columbia
England
Flanders
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New South
Wales
New York
North
Carolina
Ohio
Ontario
Oregon
Oxfordshire
Pennsylvania
Plovdiv
Prahova
Quebec
Queensland
Rhode Island
San Jose
Saskatchewan
South
Australia
South Dublin
Tennessee
Texas
Tyrol
Victoria
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

Poll results: Who is part of the pro-life movement?

Last Friday we posted a 2 question poll about who you consider “pro-lifers” and who you consider part of the “pro-life movement.”

The point of the poll was to explore how people define these terms. We considered four factors:

  1. Whether a person is politically active in fighting abortion.
  2. Whether a person thinks abortion should be illegal.
  3. Whether a person thinks abortion is immoral.
  4. Whether a person offers social support to pregnant or parenting people.

You can read the descriptions of our 8 hypothetical people on last Friday’s post, but here are the variables in chart form:

To our frustration, due to technical problems we couldn’t analyze the answers to the question “Who are the pro-lifers?” We’re sorry about that.

But at the time we analyzed the data (Sunday evening PST), we did have 130 people cast a total of 375 votes for who belongs to the pro-life movement. Here is the chart reordered from most accepted to least accepted person. The column on the far right is the percent of voters who cast a vote for that person (remember voters could pick as many of the 8 people as they liked).

A few notes:
  • 76% of the people who voted picked 3 people or less. Most of them picked people who think abortion should be illegal.
  • David, Anthony, and Mike are nearly tied. Apparently if a person doesn’t take some kind of action based on their beliefs, it doesn’t make much difference what they believe.
  • Given Elena got more votes than Anthony or even David, it seems voters value social support more than anti-abortion beliefs alone.
  • However voters valued political activism above all. Lucas was the ideal because he covered all fronts, but Christine wasn’t terribly far behind. And Christine got a lot more votes than Jen, even though both think abortion is wrong and should be illegal. Christine took political action, and Jen offered social support. It seems if voters have to pick between the two, they value political action more.
There were a few voters who chose “Other” and gave written explanations, which included:
  • “They all contribute to the pro-life movement in some way.”
  • “All seem part-time pro-life. Like most people, unfortunately.”
  • “All these people all are part of the *pro-life movement* – there is a need for all aspects of the community to take action on all levels.” [This comment went on to mention other consistent life issues but got cut off for some reason.]
  • “None.” [Presumably meant none of the 8 people are part of the pro-life movement.]
We also had several people comment about their thought processes on our FB post for the poll. It was great to see how many people said the poll got them thinking about our assumptions of what “pro-life movement” means.
I wish a real polling group like Gallup or Pew Research would put forth the same poll to a large number of people representing the demographics of the country. I’d be very interested to see how people who aren’t necessarily involved with our movement define the term “pro-live movement.” How do you think the answers might change?
And just for fun, here are all the locations people voted from, in alphabetical order. Is your area on the list?

Al Asimah
Alabama
Alberta
Auckland
British
Columbia
California
Cambridgeshire
Capital
Region
Caraga
Clare
Colorado
Community of
Madrid
Connecticut
District of
Columbia
England
Flanders
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New South
Wales
New York
North
Carolina
Ohio
Ontario
Oregon
Oxfordshire
Pennsylvania
Plovdiv
Prahova
Quebec
Queensland
Rhode Island
San Jose
Saskatchewan
South
Australia
South Dublin
Tennessee
Texas
Tyrol
Victoria
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin