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Voters More Pro-Choice in 2012? It Doesn’t Add Up!

Posted by Eric Scheidler (November 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm)

Adding machine keysSeveral liberal commentators and even a few conservatives are gleefully reporting exit polls for last week’s election showing 59% of voters say they believe abortion should be legal in “most or all cases,” a sure sign that the pro-life movement is losing and that the advantage on social issues has swung to Democrats.

That’s one way to add up the numbers, recruiting the 30% of voters who say abortion should be legal in most cases to legitimize the more hard-core pro-choice position that there should be legal in all cases, as 29% of voters polled believe.

2012 Exit Poll on Abortion

Which comes closest to your position? Abortion should be:

Legal in all cases: 29%
Legal in most cases: 30%
Illegal in most cases: 23%
Illegal in all cases: 13%

Source: Fox News

But here’s another way to do the math: add that 30% who believe abortion should be legal in most (but not all) cases to the 24% who believe it should be illegal in most cases and the 13% who believe it should always be illegal, and you find that 66% of voters believe abortion should be illegal in at least some cases.

In other words, fully two-thirds of thirds of the electorate holds a position on abortion contrary to that espoused by either President Obama or Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who will not name a single case in which abortion should not be a woman’s choice.

Most voters actually disagree with Obama on abortion

There are in fact few voters who hold so radical a pro-choice—really pro-abortion—position as Barack Obama.

Among that 29% who say abortion should be legal in “all cases,” how many would say there should be no legal restrictions at all on how abortion facilities operate? Barack Obama doesn’t even want to see Planned Parenthood held accountable for obeying local zoning regulations!

And in exactly what case (or cases) do the 30% who say abortion should be legal only in “most cases” think it shouldn’t be?

We heard a lot this election about abortion in the case of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother—three cases. Throw in cases when the mother is extremely young or in abject poverty, or when the unborn child has some kind of disability—the cases most commonly cited to justify legal abortion—and you’re still not hitting a majority of abortions.

That 30% might actually oppose a majority of the 1.2 million abortions taking place every year in the United States, if only they had the facts.

Speculation aside, we know some of the cases in which 
majorities believe abortion should be illegal:

On top of that, solid majorities believe that abortion should be illegal after the twelfth week of pregnancy—when about 11% of abortions, or over 144,000, are performed.

Again: Barack Obama believes abortion should never be illegal.

Yet 50.6% of voters chose to elected President Obama to a second term.

Voters left in the dark about Obama and abortion

The conclusion to draw, then, is not that voters are becoming more pro-choice, but that they simply do not know how radical President Obama’s position on abortion really is.

And no wonder. Voters were barraged with propaganda from both Planned Parenthood and the Obama campaign calculated to make their radical position appear moderate in contrast with the army of Republican straw men waging a “war on women.”

They pretended that employers opposed to paying for someone else’s contraceptives were trying to entirely block access to contraceptives for everyone.

They answered the charge that Planned Parenthood should lose its government subsidies because of its well-documented pattern of dishonesty and lawlessness and its outsized role in the abortion business and abortion politics with the falsehood that women rely on Planned Parenthood for mammograms.

And in answer to all of that, Mitt Romney had little to say about abortion other than endorsing the “rape, incest or life of the mother” trio of exceptions.

Stage set for pro-life victory—if we make our case

There’s every reason to believe that, had voters really known where Obama and other pro-choice candidates stand, the elections might have turned out quite differently.

Which means that, far from abandoning social issues like abortion, pro-life politicians of both parties should take advantage of what the 2012 exit polls really say about voters and abortion, and speak to that 66% of voters who think abortion should be be illegal at least some of the time.

Our elected officials should be confidently advocating for measures that will accomplish the goal of withdrawing legal sanction from such an unconscionably large number of abortions as are performed every year in the United States.

And as for the pro-life movement, we need to work harder to show our pro-choice friends and neighbors that their views are actually a lot closer to ours than they are to the extreme position espoused by Barack Obama and Cecile Richards.

With the truth on our side and voters real attitudes on abortion predisposing them to be receptive, it’s time to make our case against legal abortion and share the pro-life message at every opportunity.

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16 Responses to “Voters More Pro-Choice in 2012? It Doesn’t Add Up!”

Note: Visitor comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pro-Life Action League.

  1. Shirley Mikita says:

    I’m Pro-Life, I voted Pro-Life and I’m very disappointed with the out come of this Election. I can’t believe that Americans are so asleep that they can’t see what is happening. Please America WAKE UP before it’s too late. May the Lord God help us all.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm
  2. Richard VanMetter says:

    I believe that most people accept abortions during the first 12-weeks of pregnancy. This, according to your own numbers (above) is when 89% of abortions are performed. I think you would find common ground with a majority of people if you were willing to consider it a matter for a woman and her doctor to decide up to 12 weeks. Then we could all focus on reducing the number of late-term abortions. Most people would agree that late-term abortions should only be performed in extreme circumstances (protecting the life of the mother, etc…).

    By insisting that all abortions are wrong, you stifle any reasonable political debate of the subject. That is a major part of the reason that this matter has not been settled long ago. I sincerely hope that we can come together as a nation and adopt a reasonable set of guidelines that will make abortion available, safe and rare.

    November 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm
  3. Karen says:

    That’s because the youth of today have no faith they don’t go to church don’t know Christ and don’t care about killing or being selfish and ignorant! So what do you expect? And the future? More of the same just more!

    November 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm
  4. Cal Skinner says:

    The problem is that our side’s candidates listen to consultants that tell them to go after the Pro-Life voters (which are woefully identified!) and then act like a pinata.

    What we need is a third party to inoculate our candidates before they are labeled extremists.

    And if not a preemptive strike, think of a bold Pro-Life Joe Walsh’s response could have been:

    Run a video of a baby developing.

    Say, “Not all of us are going to agree when this becomes a baby, but all of us are going to agree there is a baby before the baby is born.

    “Tammy Duckworth believes that mothers should be able to abort their babies up until the day they are born [or in the third trimester, if you want to sound more reasonable]

    “Now, that’s extreme.”

    Run text along the bottom quoting what Duckworth’s told the Tribune: “Duckworth said she does not ’support any restrictions on a woman’s right to chose or her access to safe, affordable reproductive health services.”

    Now, it would take a bold Pro-Life candidate to follow this advice and there have been none sighted in Illinois.

    Something like this run against Pat Quinn during the last days of the 2010 campaign would have elected Bill Brady governor in Illinois, I believe.

    Illinois State Rep. candidate Dave McSweeney went in this direction in a mailing that got delivered on Saturday that can be seen here:

    Also related to abortion, a Catholic Church in Crystal Lake went all in on Obama before the election. (Romney carried only my Chicago suburban County of McHenry.)

    = = = =

    Could such an approach have saved Joe Walsh and the Indiana and Missouri U.S. Senate candidates?

    Supporting the abortion of a baby in the last three months of pregnancy is truly extreme.

    So why not use the word ‘extremist” first? And make it stick as surely as the pro-abortion candidates did to our candidates this time around.

    Surely, mothers could relate to that.

    And there are a lot more mothers than women and men worried about rape and incest, I’ll bet.

    What do you think?

    November 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm
  5. Martin says:

    The conversation on abortion is controlled by the media and the pro-abortion liberals. Selling the idea of life to a largely secular audience must be done in terms that they understand and identify with. To use moral arguments and the ideas of right and wrong, the arguments must be couched in terminology and patterns of thinking that the intended audience can understand. Rather than state that abortion is wrong, wrong in all cases or in some cases, the argument should be framed in the context of what the abortion peddlers use and understand.

    We have many rights in this country, free speech, free assembly, the right to bear arms, etc. No other of these rights in order to be exercised requires the extinction of human potential. The right to abortion does. The exercise of the right to abort a fetus requires the complete extinction of human potential for the fetus. The right to bear arms, one of the more controversial rights, allows the use of force to extinguish life in certain narrow instances. Unlike the right to abortion it MAY result in the elimination of human potential whereas exercising the right to abortion requires the elimination of any human potential for the fetus.

    Of course this does not assail the idea that a fetus is not a human being and therefore human life is not being destroyed, it does weaken the argument that abortion is a woman’s right the same as any other right. The hard core abortion advocates will not be swayed by any argument. They are not the intended audience. A solid majority of people against abortion will overrule the small, core group of pro-abortion advocates in the long run. Most people are not spending a lot of time thinking about abortion except to react to media driven cases involving abortion. Preaching to them about the evils of abortion in a moral framework doesn’t work. Framing it directly as a moral question causes internal friction and results in a quick rationalization because they do not want to think about the truth of the moralit. Generally they have sided with the pro-choice argument, mostly out of intellectual laziness or because of personal experience with abortion and accepting the pro-life argument at a moral level brings to the fore the negative personal connotations of their pro-choice decision.

    By framing the argument in language or context other than strictly moral it allows them to back into the moral reality, essentially saving face internally. The end result is the same. It is similar to Jesus response to the woman at the well. He neither condemned her nor argued with her, he simply pointed out a fact and let her own mind work out the rest of the equation. The simple fact is that abortion is as tenuous as slavery as far as logic, this is why one of the favorite justifications used by the pro-abortion groups is pointing to the ‘exceptional’ cases of rape, incest, etc. and appealing to the emotions of the people in the middle. The idea of abortion can’t really be sold, it doesn’t hold up to logic; but the idea that I may one day be raped and forced to carry my rapist’s child to term bypasses all that…and so it is a favorite line of argument. The idea that by definition ‘choice’ requires destruction of the potential of human life and fulfillment not only holds up logically, it is in fact the unavoidable end result of the very argument the pro-choice advocates are using to justify the need for ‘choice’. Give them their argument. Then carry it forward to it’s logical end and compare that unavoidable conclusion to that of any other guaranteed Constitutional right. All we can do is try to get people thinking and if we do that then abortion will fall just as slavery did. It is on the wrong side of morality and therefore on the wrong side of history.

    November 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm
  6. Dr. Lisa says:

    Life begins at conception! It is Life that explodes from 2 into one then travels, fights to get through the fallopian tube to implant in the womb and that in itself is a miraculous journey. To ignore this fact and compromise to say that the political debate should only be about the first 12 weeks should be OK when most abortions take place anyway is not of this truth.
    For me to even be free to write here of Religious Truths is evidence of Religious and Scientific Truths merging from one who is exercising my Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. Let us pray to STOP the HHS Mandate and that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the hearts, minds, souls of the grateful faithful that we know the Hope to which we are called and the Joy that comes from that knowledge will witness to others that they may come to know HIM!

    November 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm
  7. Jeanne Hammond says:

    Yes, Martin! If we want to argue for the right to life effectively, we should speak in terms that pro-choice advocates understand — in terms of rights rather than morality. When you point out that “abortion is the only ‘right’ that requires the ‘extinction of human potential’,” that gives pro-choice advocates something to think about — on their own terms. You don’t have to lose your moral ground to do this. It’s a practical accommodation.

    You also seem to have a real sense of how most Americans feel — neither hot nor cold about abortion — merely indifferent. As many free Whites were ambivalent about slavery.

    I wrote a coming of age novel, A Just Man Is Hard to Find, which explores these themes. Stories are a good way to introduce and evaluate moral values in a non-threatening way. Check out the website,

    November 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm
  8. Jim Kramer says:

    Thank you for this article. It is very good. Thank you to the commentators for their contributions. I agree most with Dr. Lisa, but found the others, especially Martin to be very thougtful. I am praying for the HHS mandate to be found unconstitutional, but I am praying also for Jesus to give us His presence as we go through the finanacial future reality. I am a pro-life christian who is a part of the Shaklee Corporation, and there are many mothers who are able to use the Shaklee products to have very healthy pregnancies and babies, who are able to overcome infertility, who are able to use natural products that are safe, and never harmful to their children, and who are able to stay home, have a home business, and contribute extra income for their family. I am happy to be a part of this company, its founder, Dr. Shaklee, had a Natural Law philosophy, and formed a company that really did its research and made products that really respect God’s wisdom in Nature, and really had a mission to help people create healthier lives. This is how I am now trying to serve the Lord with my whole heart and my neighbors as myself. I apologize if this sounds like an advertizement, it is simply a testimony that I am writing today. God bless you all.

    November 29, 2012 at 8:38 am
  9. L. Ziemann says:

    What about the father doesen’t he count on the decision making I think most men don’t know about the pregrency and that is why women go ahead and have abortion hoping that the man does not find out. Come men become a man and stand up to your rights its your legacy or name sake that is being destroyed.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:14 am
  10. Stanley D. Wyatt says:

    We must finally admit that we have lost and get on with life. Quit expecting the “government” to do anything. The politicians will always try to pander to both sides. The Republicans won’t nominate a true conservative like Reagan but even Reagan, whom many of you worship, signed the California abortion bill and his wife was not pro-life and the issue was buried during his administration. Look who appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, in order to satisfy the women. There are very few politicians who are going to lay down in the floor and “kick and scream” on the issue. And, get their hands dirty.

    For the most part, our Catholic bishops have been out to lunch on the issue for years. They know what they have to do–they must use the Excommunication Hammer that was given to them. They need to act like leaders and shepherds. Not wimps. We have too many wimps in the Church. The ones who are brave are assigned to dioceses out in the middle of nowhere. The liberal diocese always seem to get the liberal and/or weak bishops.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:20 am
  11. Jeanne Hammond says:

    L. Ziemann makes another important point. If we agree with Martin that pro-life arguments — to be effective — should be cast in terms that pro-choice advocates are apt to understand — fathers’ rights is really good fodder. Common law now seems to give fathers an equal say in what happens to embryos they co-conceive in vitro. The father can protect them from being destroyed. Maybe that raises a legal issue down the road. If a woman agrees to conceive in vitro with her husband, can she then decide to abort that life without her husband’s permission? (It’s clear she consented to conceive and have the resulting embryo implanted.) If, having consented to reproduce with her husband, can she simply change her mind? If so, do men have ANY reproductive rights under the Constitution?

    This kind of legal parsing is mentally exhausting and probably discouraging to most of us. No wonder most folks don’t wish to really discuss abortion. I’m glad you all are willing to.

    November 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm
  12. Thomas Haerle says:

    Our pro-life efforts can not nor should they ever stop. Life is bigger than only being concerned for the children who have not been born yet. We need to realize that life issues involve our men or women serving in the military killed in battle. We need to also be concerned for the individuals on death row and fight to put an end to Capital Punishment. We need to also care for our seniors at the end of life.

    More efforts need to be made in educating our youth before they get pregnant. We need to better prepare our youth to realize what it means to care for a child before they have children. One way of educating our youth would be to require them to take a class in high school or before where they would learn what it means to care for a baby.

    A suggestion made to me recently to help educate our youth to know the responsibilities of caring for a child is to give them a doll that would be like a real baby. They would have to feed, bathe, and diaper change the doll they would have responsibility for during a weekend. Not to care for the child means that the student would not pass the class.

    We should never be discouraged by any efforts that we have made to encourage the value of life. We should continue to fight for life issues on all levels of government (city, state, and federal). Raising awareness of life issues is one way that we will continue to educate all to better understand the value of life and our responsibility in promoting all of life.

    As we have come to know over the years even those individuals who have been prochoice can become strong prolife advocates. Each of us has a role to influence those around us to better appreciate life. Our work will never be finished. Let us continue to do all we can for the rights of the unborn, those on death row in our prisons, keeping our military men and women from being killed on the battlegrounds, and respecting the lives of the men and women at the end of their life. When all respect life then our battle to protect life will be won.

    November 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm
  13. Ron Orlando says:

    Just a few comments on why I think it went the way it did.
    First, I do not believe that this Election was ‘written in stone’ as it was the 2008. Mainly, because the Media was not as ‘one sided’ this time, even though, their basic ‘moral code’ is in favor of ‘the Culture of Death’. And, the Republican Party did not, once again, do the job of educating voters, and clearly laying out to voters what they were going to get by voting Democratic.
    Many, and possibly most, who vote Democratic are a combination of: Straight-ticket voters, those who think the Democratic Party is the only Party who can provide them with a job, those on Welfare systems, those who vote that way because it is a genealogical lifestyle, those who voted for this candidate ‘strictly’ because of his ethnicity, those who are told or influenced as in “Special Needs” and other Caregiver situations, Pro-Choice persons, and Labor Organizations involved with Unions, who have forever been sold on the idea that the Democratic Party is the only Party for them. After that, I suppose, are those who are connected to the Democratic Party, through Politics, etc.

    I have, for a long time, wondered why the Republican Party, refuses to educate the voter. Spell out some of the misconceptions like: The Democratic Party protects workers, the reasons your fore-fathers voted Democratic are different now. Let them know how many jobs are created by Republicans. The Democratic Party is not the only Party who can create and maintain Government Jobs. The Republican Party wants to help you to help yourself.
    The Republican Party’s Candidates in these last two elections have been too complicated for voters. McCain chooses a woman as a running mate, who no-one ever heard of. Then, this time, the Republican party nominates a Mormon, who chooses a Catholic running mate. I suppose that if it were reversed, it might have worked. It’s as if the Republicans are doing some kind of ‘last minute’ preparation. It seems to me that they should be, determining what went wrong, and preparing ‘Now’ for the next election.
    Also, if Lincoln had been a Democratic, what would be seeing at all Elections? We’d be seeing Lincoln, arm in arm with Martin Luther King.
    Why has the Republican Party ‘missed this boat’ for so long.
    I had a 90 year old woman, in a Bible Study, that I used to do, say that she is voting ‘straight Democratic’, because that’s the way it’s always been done in her Family. This woman is a daily Mass goer and a daily Communicant. I tried to ‘gently’ ask her if she would consider some dialogue. She was very uncomfortable when I asked her. But, she said no. After that she did not return to the Study. Others also stopped coming, so I had to cancel it. This study was done in a Senior Citizen Retirement Community. I was very sad.
    There is a ‘Great’ lack of communication among Catholics and Christians, within their Communities/Parishes. A great deal of the responsibility has to rest on the leaders, including, Priests, Pastors, Deacons, movers and shakers with the Communities. This was all too obvious as I went to a few Churches to ask “How many from here will be attending the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally”? The response was sadly, What Rally.
    I’ll end with one more thought/observation. In many, and possibly all, Catholic Churches, the Communion lines are long, and the Confessional lines are short. An over-simplified assumption would be that there are way too many ‘Self-Righteous Catholic”. This is another example of a ‘Great’ lack of communication/education.
    Peace and Love, Ron

    November 30, 2012 at 10:58 am
  14. Judy Pantaleo says:

    Our American culture is rapidly going “down the tubes” and the election reflects that. Attitudes of Congress will not change until the attitudes of the population change. Yes, we need to continue to fight. We need to focus on education — especially through a variety of media. We need more heroic filmmakers. Mostly, I think, we need to encourage storming Heaven with prayer. We can all participate in that!
    “If My people will humbly pray, and seek My face and turn away from all their wicked ways, then I will hear them and move My hand. Freely, then, will I forgive and I will heal their land.”
    Yet, our nation may well hit bottom before it recovers.
    God bless us — every one!

    November 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm
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