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Polls reveal declining support for abortion

January 30, 2015
Nate Madden

WASHINGTON – A Jan. 21 report from the National Right to Life Committee and new poll results show that abortion is increasingly unpopular in the United States, but also that the number of abortions performed in the United States is at its lowest point since 1975.

The day after the State of the Union Address, the right-to-life organization held a news conference on its second annual “The State of Abortion in the United States” report.

The report showed that the number of abortions in the United States, currently at 1.06 million per year, is at its lowest point since 1975, when the number was 1.03 million and is also down from the 1.6 million high seen in 1990.

A new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll shows 84 percent of Americans want significant restrictions on abortion and would limit it to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy.

At the National Right to Life news conference, Carol Tobias, the organization’s president, was asked about President Barack Obama’s claim in the State of the Union address that the drop is a result of actions taken by his administration.

She said “the president is on record supporting abortion at any time, for any reason; he is not for any limit or restriction on abortion, but naturally, he is going to put that statistic in the best light he possibly can.”

Tobias believes that the decline in the abortion rate is rather the result of pro-life activism in public discourse and popular culture because “yes, the numbers are going down, but the rates and ratios are also going down, and that’s due to the pro-life movement keeping this issue alive in the public debate.”

“Pro-life education and legislation are helping to make an impact on our culture and in the lives of women with unborn children,” she continued, and as a result “many women have shown that they want their babies to live.”

Randall O’Bannon, National Right to Life’s director of education and research, added that “though the numbers on the whole are going down, there is one group that has remained steady and that group is Planned Parenthood.” The group, which “performs one in three abortions in the United States,” has repeatedly “turned opposition into fundraising fodder” to expand its “taxpayer-subsidized abortion empire.” “That,” argued O’Bannon, “is why they spend millions on elections.”

In its report for fiscal year 2013, Planned Parenthood said it had received $540.6 million provided by taxpayer-funded government health services grants including Title X family planning funds for low-income people.

Federal regulations require abortion services be kept separate from Title X-funded family planning services, but critics of Planned Parenthood say that receiving funding for nonabortion services frees up its resources for providing abortions.

Not only is the number of abortions declining in the United States, but it is publicly unpopular, according to a recent Knights of Columbus/Marist-poll.

A press release issued by the Knights said the poll showed that 84 percent of Americans “want significant restrictions on abortions” and that “60 percent of Americans say abortion is morally wrong.”

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