NRL News

What’s right, but mostly wrong, about the Kaiser Family Foundation abortion poll

by | Jan 22, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

As noted earlier today, we are posting separate stories on two abortion polls. The first, conducted by Marist for the Knights of Columbus, and the second, a poll taken by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Pro-abortionists will fasten onto the results to two dramatically misleading questions in the Kaiser poll: whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned and whether laws should criminalize women who get abortions.

As we have discussed a gazillion times, the public does not know the extremist reach of the abortion “liberty.” For decade after decade, Americans were told that Roe legalized abortion in just the first trimester. Kaiser used to do just that.

In its latest poll, it merely tells its 1,215 adult respondents, “As you may know, the 1973 Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade established a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion.” Talk about understated!

In fact, Roe (and Doe v. Bolton) essentially legalized abortion on demand throughout pregnancy by permitted abortion for “health” reasons, broadly defined in Doe so as to encompass virtually any reason.

And the pro-life movement has never supported punishing women who have abortions. That’s another pro-abortion canard.

The truly significant results from the Kaiser poll reflect the public’s strong support for requirements the Abortion Industry is desperate to keep hidden. Here is the operative paragraph from the Washington Post story which ran under the headline “Most Americans want abortion to remain legal, but back some state restrictions: New poll finds support for waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds and other limits.”

The Post’s Ariana Eunjung Cha and Emily Guskin write

Yet the data also shows another side to the story, with large portions of the country supporting some state restrictions on the procedure. A clear majority (69 percent) of the public supports laws requiring abortions to be performed by doctors who have hospital admitting privileges, similar to the requirements in a Louisiana law challenged in a case that goes before the Supreme Court this term. Majorities of Americans also support laws that require women to wait 24 hours between meeting a health-care provider and getting an abortion (66 percent) and laws requiring doctors to show and describe ultrasound images to them (57 percent). [My underlining.]

NRLC has said for decades that such commonsense requirements enjoy majority support. Here, again, is clear evidence that remains the case.

Then there is the issue of when abortion should be legal. We read a four-way division: 27% say abortion should be legal in “all cases” while 11% says “illegal in all cases.” Another 32% say “legal in most cases” while 30% say “illegal in most cases.”

On the surface that suggests that a total of 41% say abortion should either be illegal in all cases (11%) or in most cases (30%). But when Gallup asks the question in a far more probing manner, the picture changes dramatically.

On June 25, 2019, Gallup’s Lydia Saad reported, “based on a three-part question with a follow-up to those who said abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances,” that “60% of Americans say abortion should either not be legal at all or only legal in a few circumstances.” [My emphasis.]

Finally, in many ways the most interesting conclusion from Kaiser is “Attitudes toward State Laws are Malleable.” What they mean by that is if the public gives a pro-life response, then follow up with “information” that will change their view.

Of course, the obvious response is that by making sure the pro-abortion counter-argument gets the last word–and the pro-life rebuttal is never heard–they stack the deck in an egregiously unfair manner.

The Marist Poll conducted for the Knights of Columbus is not only more accurate than the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, it gives great insight going forward.

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Categories: Polling