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Poll: Pro-aborts agree with us on several points

Abortion Protest

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A common logical fallacy they teach in pro-abortion debating school is the ad populum technique.  (That means appeal to popularity, for all you people in Rio Linda.)  It is often combined with the ad hominem attack, like this:

  1. Most people disagree with you. (ad populum)
  2. Therefore, you are an extremist. (ad hominem)
  3. Therefore, you must be wrong.

Rejoice when they try that.  Without exeption, the pro-abortion debater will be so extreme in his/her views as to be an embarrassment to the typical pro-abortion citizen.  A recent Gallup poll found several points on which pro-choice people actually agree with us:

  • Third trimester abortions should be illegal.  (79% of pro-choicers agree)
  • Informed consent should be required.  (86% of pro-choicers agree)
  • Partial-birth abortions should be banned.  (63% of pro-choicers agree)
  • 24-hour waiting period should be required.  (60% of pro-choicers agree)
  • Perental consent should be required for minors.  (60% of pro-choicers agree)
  • Second trimester abortions should be illegal.  (52% of pro-choicers agree)

Compare these results to the typical pro-abortion activist who agrees with none of these statements.

Gallup concludes:

Abortion politics have been quite contentious in the United States; however, self-described “pro-life” and “pro-choice” Americans broadly agree on more than half of 16 major abortion policy matters Gallup tested in June and July.  These policies generally have to do with protections for women’s vital health, preventing late-term abortions, and ensuring that abortion patients and parents are fully informed before an abortion.

FAB will accept these results as largely accurate, because they are within the range of other polling data we have seen.  However, a word of caution is in order.

Always be wary of abortion statistics, whether they be trumpeted by pro-lifers or by pro-aborts.  Unlike many people on both sides of the issue, FAB tries to avoid the two most common errors we see:  (1) dismissing the results we don’t like and (2) taking the results we like as the final word.  It’s almost comical to watch both sides hold up the same poll and claim final victory.

We approach statistics with a certain amount of skepticism.  In that spirit, we found some major curiosities in the results of this poll:

  1. Only 97% of pro-choicers agreed that abortion should be legal when a woman’s life is in danger.  What is the other 3% thinking?  How can they claim to be pro-choice?
  2. Only 91% of pro-choicers agree that abortion should be legal when the pregnancy is caused by rape or incest.  What are the other 9% thinking?
  3. On the flip-side, 35% of “pro-lifers” want abortion to be legal in the first trimester.  How could such people claim to be pro-life?  Could it be that 35% of pro-life people simply don’t pay a bit of attention to what they are doing when answering a poll?
  4. Gallup says 9% of “pro-lifers” want abortion to be legal when when the woman/family can’t afford a child.  Again, how could such people claim to be pro-life?
  5. Only 90% of “pro-lifers” want abortion to be illegal in the 2nd trimester and only 94% want it to be illegal in the third trimester.
  6. Bottom line:  Somewhere between 6% and 35% of pro-life respondents aren’t paying attention.  Same is true for between 3% and 9% of pro-choice respondents.

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