Abortion SchizophreniaMay 15, 2009
For the first time since Gallop began asking the question over a decade ago, a majority of Americans now consider themselves "pro-life" when it comes to the issue of abortion, according to the results of a new Gallop poll released this week. In a near reversal from Gallop's Values and Beliefs survey from a year ago, 51 percent of Americans questioned now call themselves "pro-life," while just 42 percent claim the "pro-choice" label. Interestingly, 23 percent of those polled said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, with 22 percent saying it should be legal in all circumstances — a dramatic shift from past polls. The majority, 53 percent, still support abortion under limited circumstances.
So, what does it all mean? Has there been a deep, philosophical change in the minds of Americans when it comes to abortion? Do these numbers signal a backlash against the in-your-face abortion happy Obama administration?Will these numbers mean anything on election day?
Good questions and, as with any poll, the answers are difficult to pinpoint. One thing is certain, Americans continue to be schizophrenic when it comes to abortion. Most consider abortion "immoral," but most approve of its legality at least in very rare circumstances (rape, incest). At the same time, they just elected the most pro-abortion President in the history of the country. (Did they really believe this guy was a moderate?)
Perhaps the dirty little secret of abortion in America is that Americans prefer it to be a dirty little secret. Most clearly are uncomfortable with the concept of killing unborn babies. We just don't want to talk about it. And we don't want our politicians talking about it. Perhaps its because talking about it forces us to face the duplicity of our reasoning on the issue.
Here's hoping that the minds of Americans are finally catching up with the evidence. More and more of us have seen into the magnificent world of an unborn child through modern 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds. Only the most cold-hearted can see those pictures and deny the humanity. Unfortunately, one of them happens to occupy the nation's highest office.