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Posts Tagged ‘poll’

Gallup poll results: “I don’t know what I mean!”

Keep vs Stop

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The abortion industry has been gloating over a new Gallup poll that claims half of all Americans identify themselves as “pro-choice.”  But the devil for the pro-aborts is in the details.

You don’t have to drill down very far to see that 55% of Americans agree that abortion should be completely illegal or legal only in a few circumstances.  Only 42% say abortion should be legal under most or all circumstances.

Apparently, many Americans don’t know what they mean by “pro-choice” or “pro-life.”  For example, 4% of those who described themselves as “pro-choice” said that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.  Not sure what they were smoking.  (Come to think of it, that 4% is roughly equal to the percentage of Americans who live where marijuana is legal; hmmmmm.)

Anyway, a full 23% of self-described “pro-choicers” said abortion should be legal in only a few circumstances.  Hardly your classical “pro-choice” position.

Always look at the details.

Gallup Poll Results 2015

Gallup Poll Results 2015

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.

Abortion poll by Gallup: What does it mean?

Gallup poll shows most people believe abortion should be legal under only a few or no circumstances. This is also true of younger voters.

Gallup poll shows most people believe abortion should be legal under only a few or no circumstances. This is also true of younger voters.

Earlier today, Gallup published the results of their latest poll on abortion.  What does it all mean?

The Good

  1. When given choices between none, few, most, and any circumstances, 61% said abortion should be legal only in a few or no circumstances, whereas 37% say it should be legal under any or most circumstances.  These numbers are very much opposed to the status quo (i.e., abortion legal under any and all circumstances).
  2. Only 40% of younger people (18 – 34 years) believe that abortion should be legal under any/most circumstances, whereas 59% believe it should be legal under few/no circumstances.  This is almost identical to the opinions of those in the 35 – 54 age group and the population at large.  Again, a resounding defeat for the status quo.
  3. Most people believe aborton to be morally wrong (51%) as opposed to morally acceptable (39%).  This is a 12% margin of victory for our side, but it is also puzzling.  Apparently, there are many people out there, maybe 10%, who won’t say abortion is morally wrong, but still believe it should be generally restricted (i.e., available only under a few or no circumstances).

The Bad

  1. The numbers aren’t changing much.  On the main question (whether you consider yourself to be pro-choice or pro-life), the results were 49% pro-choice and 45% pro-life.  This isn’t radically different from the 1998 results, which were 48% pro-choice to 45% pro-life.  Yes, the numbers bounce around, but it is hard to assert there are any consistent trends.
  2. Despite a lot of conflicting data that others have touted, this poll shows that younger people (18 – 34 years) are pro-choice by a margin of 51% pro-choice to 42% pro-life, almost the same as the 35 – 54 age group, but more pro-choice than the overall population (49% pro-choice to 45% pro-life).  [Yet, as was detailed in item 2 under The Good, young people also believe abortion should be legal under only a few or no restrictions.]

The Ugly

  1. The poll did not differentiate between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester abortions.  Attitudes change dramatically based on the age of the baby.
  2. People’s attitudes are inconsistent because most people simply don’t know much about it.  You could see that in the 1998 Wirthlin poll, which found that 61% of the people said abortion should be legal in the 1st trimester, but also found that 58% oppose abortion after the onset of the heartbeat.
  3. Since 1998, the numbers have bounced around, with both sides claiming “trends” that could be expected to continue into the future.  The latest data suggest no such trends, only sampling noise.
  4. Not much difference between genders, except that women tend to be more polarized.  More women than men thought abortion should be illegal under all circumstances (24% of women vs 19% of men).  But the women’s strong views also are evident at the other end of the spectrum, where more women than men also thought abortion should be legal under any circumstance (29% of women vs 24% of men).  Looking at it another way, 53% of women held one of the two polar opposite opinions, whereas only 43% of men held one of them.

So, is this good news or bad news?  Please comment!