Americans should be heralding the good news on abortion that comes by way of a Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus. Eighty-three percent of Americans believe there should be significant restrictions on abortion, and that includes 70 percent of those who identify themselves as “pro-choice.” Fifty-eight percent believe abortion is “morally wrong.” Eighty-four percent believe “it is possible to have laws that protect both the health and wellbeing of a woman and the life of the unborn.”
The majority of Americans don’t see motherhood as a contest of rights where the mother’s choice trumps the rights of the child. They do want to know that a pregnant woman whose life or health is in jeopardy can get treatment if she needs or wants it. The poll results, of course, continue to make clear the reason no arm of the abortion industry likes to use the “a-word,” and explain why those same entities and their allies make sure that rhetorical blunders regarding rape become the biggest stories of a contentious political year: Because most Americans who support legal abortion support it because they worry about those women, those rare cases.
As the head of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson said to me this fall, “Ask people when they think abortion should be allowed, and suddenly you find that the idea that we should have abortion on demand at any point during a pregnancy is held by about 10 percent of the public. It’s not a mainstream position, even if some in politics and the media present it that way.”
This month we mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. As I discuss a bit in my syndicated column this week, we owe it to ourselves and the innocent lives at stake in the abortion debate, to quit letting Planned Parenthood control the discourse on the matter.