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LSU Survey finds Louisiana a very pro-life state, understates how pro-life the nation is

by | Apr 20, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Louisianaabortionpoll9Typically it takes 20 words to correct one word of pro-abortion misrepresentation, especially when there is a nuance. Let’s hope this analysis/correction can be briefer.

A headline in the [Louisiana]Times-Picayune offers an incomplete truth and a flat-out error: “Most Louisianans oppose abortion, but most Americans support it: Poll.”

The poll, by the Louisiana State University’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs, is part of its “2016 Louisiana Survey.” The Times-Picayune reporter, Julia O’Donoghue, draws the conclusion she does because the Louisiana poll used the same questions as the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and found more pro-life responses.

Here is her summary paragraph

About 55 percent of Louisianians think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. Meanwhile, about 56 percent of Americans think abortion should be available in all or most cases.

Note that neither survey uses the more accurate questions asked by Gallup which makes much finer–and helpful–distinctions. And because they don’t, just how pro-life both the nation and Louisianans are is lost.

#1. A whopping 26% of Louisianans say abortion should be illegal in all cases while another 29% say abortion should be illegal in most cases. That compares to 16% and 24%, respectively, for the entire nation, according to Pew.

A first glance says 55% of Louisianans [26+29] would make abortion illegal in all cases or most cases as compared to 40% [16+24) nationwide. Louisiana clearly is a very pro-life state. But note….

#2. The LSU polls also finds that 27% of Louisianans say abortion should be legal in most cases (33% for the nation) and only 13% of Louisianans say abortion should be legal in all cases (as compared to 24% for the nation).

As we have explained on multiple occasions, Gallup asks a far more useful question than Pew. They offer this option–“abortion should be legal under certain circumstances,” not should abortion be legal in “most cases.”

Those who chose this option are asked a follow up question: should abortion be legal “ in most circumstances or in only a few circumstances?” Generally speaking, there are three times as many who say “in only a few circumstances” as who say “in most cases.”

In a Gallup poll released in 2015, we find that there was a total of 55% who said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances (19%) or only a few circumstances (36%).

Conclusion? A majority of Americans ascribe to the pro-life position, but even more Louisianans do.

Categories: Abortion Polling