Abortion rights support falling, gun rights support rising

Pew graf--abortion & guns.gifThe latest Pew survey shows a significant drop in the support for abortion rights, with the percentage of Americans saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases declining from 54 percent last August to 46 percent today:

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 31-April 21 among 1,521 adults reached on landlines and cell phones, also finds public opinion about abortion more closely divided than it has been in several years. Currently, 46% say abortion should be legal in most cases (28%) or all cases (18%); 44% believe that abortion should be illegal in most (28%) or all cases (16%). Since the mid-1990s, majorities have consistently favored legal abortion, with the exception of an August 2001 survey by ABC News/Washington Post.


The survey also shows that 45 percent believe it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than to control gun ownership–the latter at 49 percent, an almost even divide and a shift from the 58-37 ratio in favor of gun control a year ago.

That is weirdly counterintitutive to me: More abortions, less support for abortions. But more gun violence, more support for gun-owning? (See an excellent recent Bob Herbert column here.) I suspect the economy, fears of violence, the usual go into the mix. Hunting is fine by me. Pistols and assault weapons, not.

Anyway, an interesting factor in the abortion support drop is that Catholics have barely moved. Most of the drop has come among evangelical and mainline Protestants.


They don’t break out mass attendance, unfortunately, and of course there will be endless disputes about what constitutes “most cases,” and thereby who is truly pro-life or pro-choice. 28 percent say abortion should be legal in most cases, 28 percent say illegal in most cases. Both could be construed as pro-choice positions. The outliers on both ends are almost equal: 18 percent saying legal in all cases, 16 percent illegal in all cases.

And of course where you put President Obama probably depends on, well, what you think of President Obama.

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posted May 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Where is Obama on abortion?
He is the most liberal abortion president that we have ever had in our history. Look at his voting record. He supports abortion for all cases and he voted against helping (medically) a child that happens to make it through an abortion.
Obama famously told a Planned Parenthood crowd that his first act as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). This bill would eliminate every pro-life protection — state and federal — from parental notification to bans on federal funding of abortions.
While serving as a state senator, Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. The Democratic Party platform (under his leadership) dropped the moderating words “safe, legal and rare” and added “unequivocally” to its support of abortion. Obama criticized the Supreme Court for upholding the partial-birth abortion ban. He opposed parental notification before a minor is taken across state lines for an abortion. He supports giving tax dollars to groups that commit abortions in the U.S. and in other countries. He’s appointed hard-core abortion advocates for his administration
And he co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act. Advocates claim it would simply codify Roe v. Wade. But Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) admitted, “FOCA [will] supersede all other laws,” including laws that the Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional.
He is an evil man.

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Jim McCrea

posted May 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

This simply says that more people are not supporting those who choose abortion and, if that doesn’t work, shoot ’em!

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Jim Gallagher

posted May 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

“weirdly counterintitutive”, “Hunting is fine by me. Pistols and assault weapons, not”. I think you are missing the point. Gun rights has never been about hunting. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t say anything about hunting. It’s about protection from violence. The more bad news that shows up, be it criminal violence or economic distress, the more people believe they can not rely on government to protect them. If you can’t rely on the government for protection, who can you rely on? Answer, you must rely on yourself and the way firearms are flying off the shelves I would say the people have decided which tools would best help them protect themselves.

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posted May 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

“Hunting is fine by me. Pistols and assault weapons, not.”
Then come them. The Second Amendment aint about hunting, its about having the means to stand up to thugs like you who would strip me of my rights.

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P. Hayes

posted May 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I have to agree with Jim Gallagher. Democrats are being deluded if they think many who supported them in 2008 are not also supporters of the 2nd Amendment and the right to own arms (and yes, that does include pistols and semi-automatic ones at that).
Given what I’m seeing regarding gun buying and ammunition hoarding, I can’t believe the Dems aren’t able to read the handwriting on the wall here. There really are people like me who were sick of the Republicans, scared of Palin, and supported Obama and the Dems with both vote and money, but who will make a 180 turn if they come after the guns. It seems there are more of us than many people realize.
I’ve never been a one-issue voter, but I could be if the Dems don’t leave my guns alone and do what I supported them to do (bring back my Constitutional Rights which were taken in the Patriot Act, tend to the failing economy, and fix healthcare).
We’ll see.

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Bernard T

posted July 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Glad to hear the news. Abortion is the deliberate killing of an unborn baby. A gun is a piece of steel that sits around all day. There is no comparison.
Evil resides in the heart of man and he who lays the blame of evil on a piece of steel is an atheist.

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posted August 30, 2009 at 9:43 pm

It is refreshing to know that abortion rights support is falling … about time.

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