Despite a fairly even split in the American public between pro-choicers and pro-lifers, a new poll shows nuances in the abortion debate that aren’t often discussed in the mainstream media. The poll, conducted by Marist on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, shows that among pro-choice Americans, 66% maintain that abortion should be limited to the first three months of pregnancy. Overall, when you take everyone into account, a full 81% believe there should be some form of time restrictions placed on legal abortion.
Furthermore, the survey shows that 77% of Americans believe we should have laws in place that protect both women and unborn children. 68% oppose federal funding of abortion. 61% believe that abortion should be banned after the 20-week mark, unless it would be necessary to save the life of the mother.
Perhaps the most surprising result, though, is this one: 33% of pro-choice respondents said that abortion is morally wrong.
Democrats have positioned this as a Republican war on women. But from this survey, it’s clear that Hillary Clinton may want to scale back her rhetoric. In a September interview with CBS’s Face the Nation, Clinton was asked if she supported a federal ban on late-term abortion.
“This is one of those really painful questions that people raise and obviously it’s really emotional,” she said. “I think that the kind of late term abortions that take place are because of medical necessity. Therefore, I would hate to see the government interfering with that decision.”
In other words, no.
Clinton doesn’t stop there. She has not only come out in favor of public funding for Planned Parenthood, she has supported increasing the amount of taxpayer money that goes to the nation’s largest abortion mill. She has also said she opposes the Hyde Amendment, which prevents Congress from funding abortion directly.
Hillary Clinton believes in abortion. She believes that it is a human right. She believes that any effort to curtail it in the slightest is some kind of conspiracy against low-income women. This is the kind of extremism that now defines the Democratic Party.
In a recent New York Magazine article, a radical feminist writer praised Clinton for her forceful stance on abortion and wondered idly why it had yet to come up at any of the Democratic debates. Well, it appears that in this instance, the DNC is wiser than the liberal base. They know the score. They know that Americans are not rabidly crying out for unrestricted, publicly-funded abortions. That kind of talk may win Clinton supporters from the far left, but it isn’t going to go over well with the general American public.
Republicans need to explain, early and often, that Bernie Sanders is not the only radical running for the Democratic nomination. Not by a long shot.