Just a few weeks ago, in mid-January, a poll found that 55% of Americans considered themselves to be “pro-choice,” with only 38% “pro-life.” But according to a new poll today, pro-lifers have completely caught up with the other side. Now 47% of Americans are “pro-life” and 47% are “pro-choice.”
So reports Alexandra Desanctis in her National Review Online post New Poll Finds Huge Shift in Pro-Life Direction. (Go to that site for links to the various polls.)
Why the sudden mega-shift? Desanctis cites a backlash against the pro-abortion extremism taken up by elements of the Democratic party, as New York governor Andrew Cuomo and Virginia governor Ralph Northram pushed the abortion of viable babies, to the point of infanticide.
The biggest shift is coming from Democrats. Last month, only 20% of Democrats said they were pro-life. This month the number has jumped to 34%. The effect is even greater among young Democrats, those under 45. Last months, 28% said they were pro-life. Today 47% say that they are pro-life.
Those Marist surveys consistently have found that, although Americans tend to call themselves “pro-choice,” they also tend to support policies that limit abortion to early in pregnancy. But this realignment in the pro-life direction is significant. It is an encouraging sign for the pro-life movement — and a warning to Democratic who politicians who continue to march toward increasingly radical pro-abortion policy.
That warning to Democrats might apply to other issues as well. As activists drag their party further and further to the extremes–against capitalism to socialism, against immigration controls to open borders, from sensible conservation to apocalyptic environmentalism, from civil rights to identity politics–Americans as a whole are unlikely to go that far. And such radicalism may well provoke a backlash in the conservative direction.
Photo by Elvert Barnes via Flickr, Creative Commons License