The theory of democracy is that the government should do what the people want. A democratic government should reflect those governed. In the pro-life movement, we know that laws alone are insufficient: on top of our work to help people choose otherwise if it is legal or not; even if a ban on abortion is perfectly enforced, if popular opinion goes in the other direction, in a democracy, those laws will likely change.
However, we see something completely different in the other direction: many in politics oppose abortion restrictions that have overwhelming popular support.
Gallup Polls on Abortion
Gallup reports that most Americans think late abortion should be illegal. A May 2018 poll showed asked about this.
Do you think abortion should generally be legal or generally illegal during each of the following stages of pregnancy: […]
In the second three months of pregnancy? Legal: 28%, Illegal: 65%, Depends 4%, No opinion: 2%
In the last three months of pregnancy? Legal: 13%, Illegal: 81%, Depends 4%, No opinion: 2%
That is an overwhelming majority wanting late abortion bans. When we think of bans at 20 weeks, that’s about halfway between a 3-month and 6-month ban so we should expect only about 20% opposition. In a democracy, if only 20% oppose protecting a vulnerable population, that should become law.
I really wonder why so many of the political class are so set on legalizing abortion in all cases, even when an overwhelming majority supports restrictions like this.
A Belief That Is 2X as Common81-13 on any issue is incredible in the USA where we can’t seem to agree on anything. To show how rare this is, I want to present a belief held by 26% of the population (2x the amount who believe in legal 3rd-trimester abortion):
The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF [Nation Science Foundation] in 2012. […]
To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.
I think we can agree that believing in geocentrism – believing that the sun goes around the earth – is a pretty extreme position. We have strong evidence that the earth moves around the sun, not vice versa. However, this fringe belief is twice as common as supporting legal abortions late in pregnancy. Barely more people support keeping 2nd-trimester abortion legal than believe the sun goes around the earth.
Obviously, our goal is no abortion. We don’t want anyone to consider killing a baby. Laws just serve that end, and laws can be moral if they reduce abortion. Laws making abortion illegal after 3 or 6 months would move in that direction and have wide, in fact overwhelming, support. The question we need to ask is why so many politicians oppose such laws which the people support?
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