July 29, 2013

Poll Watch: Pew Research Survey on Abortion

Pew Research Poll on Abortion

Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases, or illegal in all cases?

  • Legal in all cases 20%
  • Legal in most cases 34%
  • Illegal in most cases 24%
  • Illegal in all cases 15%

Survey of 1,480 adults was conducted July 17-21, 2013. The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percentage points.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 3:01 pm. Filed under Poll Watch
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40 Responses to “Poll Watch: Pew Research Survey on Abortion”

  1. RichTex Says:

    Wow. My faith in humanity has been shaken.

  2. DL210 Says:

    What I don’t like about these types of polls is that it doesn’t specify exactly what “Illegal in MOST cases” means. Does that mean illegal except in the cases of threat of death to the mother, rape, incest, etc.? They never completely specify.

  3. crap poll Says:

    As somebody who is pro-life with some exceptions, I’d be baffled by the responses given here as options.

    Legal/Illegal in MOST cases is almost as extreme as Legal/Illegal in ALL cases – where the hell is the middle ground, which surely a large number of people would fall under?

    People who fall somewhere in-between likely account for more than the missing 7%, and so many of those people were probably forced to polarize, distorting any meaning to this poll. I genuinely don’t know what I would answer with such meaningless options.

    Crap poll.

  4. CONDOLEEZA2016 Says:

    Dudes: Obama won. Twice. Nuff said.

  5. Mr. Owl Says:

    3. good point. however its safe to say that “legal in most cases” means that they place a time limit on when the abortion can be made and that “illegal in most cases” means that they don’t believe it should believe the time should be an issue, but rather the life of the mother being in danger, rape, the state of the child (essentially painful death sentence), etc.

  6. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    I hate abortion polling. Questions like this one are only mildly more helpful than the “do you consider yourself pro-life or pro-choice” type questions. What we ought to be asking people is whether they think it should be legally permissible to have an abortion because a woman wants to finish school first, or wants to focus on her career, or doesn’t want to have children yet, or doesn’t want people to find out she became pregnant.

    The left has done a very good job of skewing the image of an abortion seeker as a young girl who was raped or a woman discussing with her regular doctor whether it is in her best medical interest to terminate the pregnancy. It would not at all surprise me if the percentage of the population able to correctly identify the primary motivations for abortion was under 40%.

  7. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    And, yes, my faith in American society continues to be undermined. Other countries focus on the future, Americans worry about giving marriage benefits to homosexual couples, ensuring a woman can destroy her unborn child for any reason at all (or no reason whatsoever), and making it easier to hand out contraception in schools.

    Excuse me if I’m not entirely convinced anymore there’s much point or purpose to worry about who is steering the Titanic.

  8. Mr. Owl Says:

    7. are you stating that contraception is bad? and aren’t those US’s policies, that you just mentioned, an attempt to catch up to other western countries that look to “focus to the future”?

  9. Liz Says:

    Why would you kill your own. I am also sick that a beautiful city like San Diego has a nasty woman hater for a mayor. Stop the insanity. Women and children are people too. In a free society, anyways.

  10. Liz Says:

    Nasty men do lots of damage in positions of public trust. Nasty woman do lots of damage to children under their care. Our culture needs to protect decent folks more, and celebrate perversion and aggressiveness less. Herewith.

  11. JT Says:

    Kilburn you are still alive?! I thought you would have put yourself out of our misery by now. You are all despair, all the time.

  12. Mr. Owl Says:

    10. i would state that men damage their children more often than women and that female politicians have also caused damage in political positions.

  13. Spud Says:

    Ridiculous poll. No good information came out of that. The question/possible answers are stupid.

    Quite simply, the question should be “at what point is a fetus a human being”. Go by months of development. Most people would still give stupid answers but at least we’d be in the ballpark.

    I don’t think a fertilized egg is a human. It’s one cell. However, birth is not some magical event that bestows humanity upon the fetus. So, what stage of development is it a person? Try asking liberals that, watch them dodge, deflect, and attack. Me? Four months. Brain waves are stable at 4.5 months, so 4 months it’s a human, because there should be a margin of error on the side of safety. I could support 3 months though, if needed, and as always an exception for the life of the mother throughout.

    @7: of course these are issues. Few on either side want to solve them, they’re political leverage. If we addressed the question of when it’s a person and has some rights, and finalized it…we’d start paying attention to debt.

  14. Joe Says:

    Annoying that they chose to break down the results by “region” rather than state. I’m sure the people of Utah and Wyoming really support abortion rights 59% to 36%.

  15. Mr. Owl Says:

    13. that is the hardest question to answer. you are asking people to define “humanity” and all of the consequences that come with that label and the truth is that even people with all of the information will end up with different answers. it’s an easier conversation if you concentrate on absolutes.

    for me, it’s a conflicting issue. Life has an absolute scientific meaning but i cannot ascribe “humanity”, the special trait that sets humans apart from anything else, to even a child that is born and a week old. i would never support the killing of a born baby, as it is the killing of a defenseless animal with great potential, but before birth i place a higher importance on the rights of the mother than on the life of the animal. i understand that my point of view will seem cruel to many, but it is based on science and that is the only way that i am willing to navigate an issue in which i am not personally affected.

  16. Thomas Alan Says:

    but it is based on science

    No it’s not. There was absolutely no scientific explanation for your opinion.

  17. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “7. are you stating that contraception is bad?”

    I’m stating that obsessive drives to prevent procreation at all costs are bad. I don’t think all contraceptive use is objectionable, but the degree to which our country has an anti-child, anti-birth mentality certainly is. Nothing is more essential to a stable and promising future for our nation and society than children, and yet in the last half century our birth rate has dropped by 50%. We’re on a short road to a demographic cliff.

  18. eric Says:

    17 We are on a road to a demographic cliff, the same road that every mature economy with an educated and rich populace goes down. What you are lamenting is that the US is now a mature economy rather than the world’s largest up and comer. While it’s true that there is a time period where a nation has the demographic and economic advantages of both for a short time (for us the end of the 20th century) I’m not sure we should be trying to put ourselves back into the “developing economy” race.

    The truth is that the real demographic solution, the one which actually may happen, is immigration. Here is the problem with that-there are very few countries with *white* people dieing to get out. So immigration, our only demographic solution, means a darkening of our populace. Doesn’t bother me, but it rubs a lot of old people and old fashioned people the wrong way. So we’re stuck because of their fear of other skin colors or cultural traditions.

    To bring it back to your point, the answer is not to simply take away birth control. And abortions have been statistically proven to have almost no effect on HOW MANY kids a woman has in her life. Having an abortion, statistically, simply changes WHEN in her life a woman has her kids. Believe it or not the idea that women are hurting our birth rates by using abortion as birth control are about as real as the 100k welfare queens who are supposedly bankrupting our country.

  19. Ryan60657 Says:

    13.

    I think that is a pretty realistic approach that would satisfy most of the country.

  20. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “The truth is that the real demographic solution, the one which actually may happen, is immigration. Here is the problem with that-there are very few countries with *white* people dieing to get out. So immigration, our only demographic solution, means a darkening of our populace. Doesn’t bother me, but it rubs a lot of old people and old fashioned people the wrong way. So we’re stuck because of their fear of other skin colors or cultural traditions.”

    Exactly which countries do you think they would come from? Even if there weren’t very real problems caused by bringing in large numbers of people who were culturally and linguistically (just ask France or England) dissimilar from the rest of the population, the traditional sources of immigration are drying up. Only two central American countries have population growth rates that aren’t falling in their own right. That really only leaves Africa – and how many poor Africans have the resources to make it to the USA, much less remain here, much less the education or skill that would allow them to provide a substantial boost to the economy?

    “To bring it back to your point, the answer is not to simply take away birth control. And abortions have been statistically proven to have almost no effect on HOW MANY kids a woman has in her life. Having an abortion, statistically, simply changes WHEN in her life a woman has her kids.”

    I’ve read one study on this from back in the 1990s that suggested up to a 5% increase in population growth if we eliminated abortion. If you have other studies to back up this claim, I’ll look at them….but I’m far from sold. Because anything that involves trying to determine how many kids a woman would have had without abortion seems as if it would involve an awful lot of guesswork.

  21. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “I’m not sure we should be trying to put ourselves back into the “developing economy” race.”

    Unless we want to be surpassed, I’m not sure we have a choice. China is a nation of 1.3 billion. India is a nation of 1.2 billion. How long can you really expect a nation of 350 million to complete with them, much less remain on top? Even the long-term population estimates that show a substantial decline in the Chinese population (which will likely come primarily from the rural areas that aren’t fully included in the economic development, thus making the drop more survivable than it would be here) will give it at least a 2-1 advantage.

    That’s without even getting into the domestic problems we face for safety net, economic growth, construction, etc. with a population that stops growing and starts shrinking.

  22. Mr. Owl Says:

    16. humans do not develop personalities before birth. this is a fact. without a level of development well beyond that of a fetus and even beyond that of a newborn, a human is nothing more than an animal. this is an opinion based on a fact. as an animal, i cannot ascribe it more rights than a human. that is a conclusion based on an opinion based on a fact.

    you will find that the science of human development supports the fact on which i base my conclusion. were all modern developmental science from reputable sources be proven to be wrong, i would reassess everything, but as it stands i follow my conclusion.

    i know that essentially every Christian and Muslim disagrees with my opinion, but i have given up religion as a basis of opinion long ago.

  23. eric Says:

    20 “anything that involves trying to determine how many kids a woman would have had without abortion seems as if it would involve an awful lot of guesswork”

    Not really. Avg number of kids in lifetime by women who had abortions is roughly equal to the avg number of kids in a lifetime by women who did not have abortions.

  24. Mr. Owl Says:

    17. i don’t think its such a great thing to have children be the driving force of procreation. it is bad economically. to your other point, i personally don’t care about demographic shifts but i have a feeling that if i were to search which racial groups have children youngest, it would not be whites and if i were to look up the areas of concentration for in school contraception policies it would not be predominantly white areas. to that point, in school contraception, if it worked, would keep the minority population growth in check (at least a little) and slow down a shift in demographics.

  25. eric Says:

    21 What is the contest that we are competing in vs China or India? They will always have far more people. Our goal should not be to out-populate them. Have you been to those countries? No thank you. Is it total GDP? Because that is silly and irrelevant.

    The number that matters is GDP/person if you really want your nation to compete vs another nation. In that regard China and India are no more our rivals than other relatively poor nations from the developing world. In fact China/India are much worse because the unequal distribution of GDP over there shocking. There is no rivalry and its hard to imagine one in our lifetime.

  26. Mr. Owl Says:

    25. also, those countries have extreme overpopulation problems that have actually led to mass migrations to the US/Europe and to regulations on children per family.

  27. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    Not really. Avg number of kids in lifetime by women who had abortions is roughly equal to the avg number of kids in a lifetime by women who did not have abortions.

    Correct. The guesswork comes when you’re estimating that the women who had the abortions would have stopped having children sooner. Its possible, of course, but it ignores other potentials – such as the idea that women who have abortions might be more likely to become pregnant, that could skew the numbers. There are X factors you can only guess about.

    “Is it total GDP? Because that is silly and irrelevant.”

    It its neither. Total GDP plays a much larger role than per capita GDP in determining a society’s place in the world. There are half a dozen countries with a higher per capita GDP than the USA – but how relevant to the world is Luxembourg or Norway?

    To match us in overall consumption, in overall production, in any variety of other factors, the Chinese only need to do about 1/4 as well as we do.

    “There is no rivalry and its hard to imagine one in our lifetime.”

    There’s certainly a rivalry – moreso with China than India. What I assume you mean is that China isn’t in any danger of passing us in your touted standard of GDP/capita in our lifetimes. That may be true, though its also worth pointing out that focusing only on our lifetimes have a lot to do with why we’re in such a fiscal pit in this country.

    “i don’t think its such a great thing to have children be the driving force of procreation. it is bad economically”

    I’m not saying I want 15 and 16 year olds to have kids. What I’m saying is that, when we starting handing out contraception freely to 15 and 16 year olds, we not only take a more permissive attitude towards casual sexual relationships, but we encourage a negative view of pregnancy and childrearing that can last well beyond the age at which it is inadvisable to have children. How many people in their late 20s or early 30s do we have out there waiting for the “right time” to start having a family? While it might seem advisable, the “right time” has a habit of never showing up.

  28. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “25. also, those countries have extreme overpopulation problems that have actually led to mass migrations to the US/Europe and to regulations on children per family.”

    China is paying the price for – and trying to change – the one-child policy. The glut of unmarried men, the impending population decline, these are things that result from the kind of population control some people wish we would implement on a global scale.

    “Overpopulation” is largely a myth, and where it exists, it has far more to do with the infrastructure capacity of an area than another factor. A deserted Island with no freshwater and no arable land could be overpopulated by two people. Japan, though densely packed and highly populated, manages to meet the needs of the vast majority of its population. Crowding is not the same as overpopulation….and with five times the arable land of China, better access to shipping, more developed transport networks, and the continuous march of technology (how many people could London have supported two hundred years ago? Four hundred? Six Hundred?)….you can’t make the argument the US is in any danger of “overpopulation”, even if we experienced a dramatic population rise.

  29. eric Says:

    27 Matthew, the fact that you see total GDP as more important than per/capita neatly sums up our issues as a nation. As if my own poverty is somehow okay so long as our aggregate poverty adds up to a lot??!!

    Per/capita GDP is a real measure of how citizens get to live. What comforts they have, which options are available to them. Total GDP as a measure is like saying that a first year QB is worse than a 15 year vet because he has fewer career TD passes thrown. It’s complete nonsense.

  30. eric Says:

    27 Your GDP argument is, in essence, that it is easier to raise a family of 10 on 70k a year than a family or 3 on 65k. It doesn’t stand up to even the basic test of reason.

  31. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    My argument is that overall GDP, overall consumption, overall production, and other encompassing measurements are more relevant to a nation’s position in the world than per capita measurements. Lets a take a hypothetical for a moment….say you’re in a small but resource-rich African nation, and you’re negotiating with two countries to have a 20 year exclusive recover rights for oil/metals/etc. Nation A consists of 30 million people who each use (and pay for) 1 unit of the resource per year. Nation B consists of 100 million people who each use .4 unit per year. You tell me who is a more attractive customer?

    And in any case, nations like China are continuing to see advances in their per/capita criteria…its not a trade off.

    No, I’m not arguing the United States should be content to be a very populated nation of a lot of very poor people, just so our overall GDP can be higher than China.

  32. eric Says:

    31 In your made-up hypothetical you assume that a nation rather than property owners are selling resources or products and that this nation can only sell to one customer. It is not at all representative of how anything in the world works. But yes, that aside I see your point.

    Let me tell you this. Eventually, maybe not in our lifetimes but eventually, nations with much higher populations that ours will surpass us in GDP and therefor global influence. This is inevitable. Their per/capita GDP (also known as standard of living) will crawl out of poverty and be roughly in line with other developed nations. It will happen, and cheering for it to not happen is cheering for literally billions of the world’s poor to remain poor just so we can wave flags with more pride.

    So let’s stop worrying about trying to get our population in line with China or India. There are no realistic scenarios where that was ever going to happen even with abortion being outlawed here. And let’s focus on standard of living. You cannot pay the bills with aggregate GDP. You pay them one person at a time and that is the money that matters.

  33. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “Let me tell you this. Eventually, maybe not in our lifetimes but eventually, nations with much higher populations that ours will surpass us in GDP and therefor global influence. So let’s stop worrying about trying to get our population in line with China or India. There are no realistic scenarios where that was ever going to happen even with abortion being outlawed here. And let’s focus on standard of living.”

    So, you’re content to see your children or grandchildren grow up in a world dominated by the Chinese and Indians, where the economic interests of Beijing or Delhi reign supreme over any kind of democratic or human values the US supports? Hey, America had a good run, but is going to end up playing third fiddle in global affairs….but we can’t stop that, we can’t change that, we just have to sit by and watch it happen…so lets act like the drunk at the bar who drowns his sorrows and doesn’t realize he’s killing himself in the process.

  34. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “In your made-up hypothetical you assume that a nation rather than property owners are selling resources”

    Because in many underdeveloped nations, this is the case.

    “and that this nation can only sell to one customer”

    It could end up that way. How many nations were major partners of both the USA and the USSR during the Cold War? As China rises, its world view (or perhaps I should say self interest) will come to conflict with and challenge our own. While I don’t think we have much reason to fear any kind of all-out war between the two countries, I do think sides are going to be taken….at least as long as China is ruled by the current regime.

  35. Mr. Owl Says:

    you both should stop arguing. Matthew is arguing the Macro economical issues in the US whilst Eric is arguing the Micro economical issues and so this discussion is essentially two people supporting their point well whilst being unable to refute the other person because they are speaking about a different issue.

  36. Mr. Owl Says:

    high population can push a country in a positive direction as it causes a large pool of workers, consumers, and a rapidly growing economy. overpopulation, however, causes poverty and is then perpetuated by poverty. thus the country pushes forward at a faster pace at the cost of the comfort and lifestyle of the average citizen.

  37. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “There are no realistic scenarios where that was ever going to happen even with abortion being outlawed here.”

    The U.S. Population growth rate in 1992 was 1.4%/yr. If we could return to, and sustain, that population growth level for the next few decades, we could hit the one billion population mark before the end of this century. That we don’t choose to make this a goal or a priority is one thing, but that its unrealistic is quite another.

  38. Enrique Says:

    All of these stupid statistical answers.

    The correct answer is, if you have sex and create something, it is wrong to kill it.

    It is wrong!

  39. Ryan60657 Says:

    eric and Kilburn: here’s a timely article for you both:
    “Every Country Has Gotten Richer – China To Surpass U.S. Soon”
    http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/30/everybody-has-gotten-richer

    “If the growth rates of 2000-10 reported by the Penn Tables continue until 2020 for each country, China’s GDP will be $23 trillion compared with the U.S.’s $15 trillion. If China’s economy isn’t already the largest today, it is probably a matter of months, not years, before it rises to the top.”

    “Around 5.1 billion people live in countries where we know incomes have more than doubled since 1960, and 4.1 billion—well more than half the planet—live in countries where average incomes have tripled or more. Nearly 2.2 billion people are in countries where average incomes have more than quintupled over the past 50 years. This includes the citizens of China, Japan, Egypt, and Thailand—all of whom have seen around an eightfold increase in average incomes since 1960.”

  40. Thomas Alan Says:

    you will find that the science of human development supports the fact on which i base my conclusion.

    I’ve actually studied developmental psychology. Interesting field.

    No science has come to any sort of qualitative conclusion that without personality you’re just an animal. Not only is that stupid because babies most certainly have personalities, but anyone who has a pet knows that a freakin’ dog has personality!

    You’re spouting philosophy you don’t even understand and calling it science.

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