Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bad news for anti-choicers

It seems Americans really do support abortion rights after all.

See, three recent polls have indicated a slight majority of respondents consider themselves "pro-life." Except that a recent Slate article breaks it down: Republicans and GOP-leaning independents are more likely to call themselves "pro-life." Gallup editor Lydia Saad told Slate that "Republicans, in particular, may be less willing to identify as 'pro-choice' if they perceive that aligns themselves with the Democrats or Obama." In other words, partisanship is a factor. What else is new?

Meanwhile, Nate Silver shows that support for Roe v. Wade remains high. Sixty-eight percent of poll respondents oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, an ABC News/Washington poll has similar results: fifty-eight percent said Roe v. Wade should be upheld. Needless to say, it is perfectly possible to oppose abortion on a personal level and still support choice.

Besides, polls are snapshots of certain attitude at a certain point in time, and said attitudes are always open to change. More from Slate:

The upcoming Supreme Court nomination process could potentially shift things back to the pro-choice label. It's not about Elena Kagan per se, but Gallup senior editor Lydia Saad says that when the abortion issue is raised in relation to the Supreme Court, the issue tends to help the pro-choice side—because, in the end, most people don't want to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The article finishes by saying: "At this point, the embrace of the pro-life label appears politically--rather than morally--motivated."

It would make sense for anti-abortionists to support birth control and comprehensive sex education. So far, none of them have shown any interest in this. Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and their ilk should take the lead here and point out this hypocrisy. These organizations should also note that insurance plans often don't cover contraception (when I was on the Pill, I paid for it out of my own pocket). In other words, these organizations should be more proactive, rather than reactive.