At Stand to Reason, Steve Wagner has been reporting this past week on the results of an aborion-related survey he conducted of 191 students at California State University Northridge. One of the questions assessed the students’ current knowledge of U. S. abortion laws: â€œUp until what point in the pregnancy can a woman legally get an abortion in the US?â€ The results?
49% of people surveyed think that abortion is illegal after 7 weeks 76% think abortion is illegal in the 2nd trimester and beyond 93% think abortion is illegal in the third trimester. 11% think abortion is illegal after the unborn implants on the uterine wall
Personally speaking, these results don’t come as a surprise. Up until a few years ago, when I was a high school religion teacher, I would introduce the topic of abortion by giving my students a pre-test on which one of the questions was: “True or false: Abortion is legal in the United States throughout all nine months of pregnancy.” The news that abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy was inevitably greeted with wide eyes and open mouths. Another question Steve asked the Cal State Northridge students was “Up until what point do you think abortion should be legal in the US?” The results?
Abortion should not be legal: 26% Fertilization: 2% 2 Cell Conceptus: 4% Implantation: 8% 4 Week: 20% 7 Week: 14% 2nd Trimester: 12% 3rd Trimester: 6% Partially Born: 4%
Steve added these comments:
It’s true, a survey of 191 college students cannot provide a statistically significant sampling of what Americans believe in general about abortion. At the very least though, this data should be interesting to anyone creating or reading abortion opinion polls. Why? Because two things differentiate this poll from most abortion opinion polls. 1. Respondents were encouraged to connect their opinion of when abortion should be legal to real pictures of the unborn at that stage. 2. Respondents were given the chance to be specific about their abortion opinion. Instead of having only three broad categories to choose from (first, second, and third trimesters), respondents were asked to pinpoint more specifically the exact developmental stage where they thought abortion should be made illegal. And unlike many polls with more general questions, a majority of people surveyed thought abortion should be illegal even in portions of the first trimester: 60% of people surveyed think abortion should be illegal after 4 weeks (in other words, virtually all surgical abortion should be illegal) 74% believe abortion should be illegal after the child is 7 weeks old Similar to other polling data, support for abortion is completely emaciated after the first trimester: 86% of people surveyed believe abortion should be illegal after the unborn child is 13 weeks old.
The rest of the survey results are available here.