When it comes to statistics and polling around abortion, it’s complicated. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual Abortion Surveillance survey contains only self-reported numbers by abortion businesses. So, when Senator Amy Klobuchar argued at the latest presidential nominee debate that 70% of Americans support Roe v. Wade and 90% support taxpayer funding Planned Parenthood, those numbers were greeted with some skepticism. As it turns out, Klobuchar was both right and wrong.
According to the latest Gallup poll on abortion, about 78% of the country believes that abortion should be legal in either all (25%) or only under certain (53%) circumstances. Further down in the poll, it asks Americans if they believe that Roe should be overturned, and about 60% said no and 33% said yes. Ironically, the number hasn’t really changed a lot in the last 30 years.
In 1989, the number of Americans who supported Roe v. Wade stood at 58% with 31% supporting overturning. That demonstrates, in part, that the understanding of the rights and legalities of Roe v. Wade probably hasn’t changed much in the last three decades. As Ryan Everson of the Washington Examiner points out, those results reveal that Americans are in conflict with themselves. If 60% of Americans really wanted to keep Roe, shouldn’t 60% believe that abortion should be legal in all circumstances? After all, the law technically allows abortion until birth if the mother’s health is at risk, which has a broad interpretation.
“This reveals that people generally support Roe because they don’t know any better,” Everson wrote in the article. “If people did understand Roe, their answers might be more consistent.”
BreitBart, a conservative media news outlet, reported that the statement by Senator Klobuchar was wrong and that 75% of Americans believe in “substantial restrictions on abortion.” That data was taken from a Marist Poll study conducted for the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic pro-life group, in 2019. While the word “substantial” might be a little strong, it does show that there is a strong contingent of Americans that are not supportive of Planned Parenthood’s message of abortion on demand anytime and for any reason.
Speaking of Planned Parenthood, Klobuchar’s statement that 90% of the public supports funding Planned Parenthood was last accurate in 1993, and the question was only about general support and not funding. It was also only the Democrat party that was so supportive of the abortion business. To put it into perspective, that was around the time that Planned Parenthood was experiencing a wave of sympathetic press after attacks against its clinics and doctors. During that time the business also actually did a decent amount of health care.
That is no longer the case.
Over the last 25 years, Planned Parenthood has neglected the health of its patients in exchange for cash, federal funding and celebrity. Since 1991, cancer screenings have decreased by 62%, other services, like primary care and adoption referrals, have decreased by a staggering 90%, but abortion services have increased by 143%. There have also been considerable decreases since the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was instituted in 2009. Those include contraception at a shocking 35%, health care services by 13% and clinical visits and clients at 20%. (This data has been compiled from 25 years of Planned Parenthood annual reports.)
The abortion business has also been plagued by scandal and bad press. The decision to remove Dr. Leana Wen as president came after less than a year due to her desire to increase general health services, the loss of Title X funding because of new federal requirements, and, of course, the 2015 video expose by David Daleiden that exposed Planned Parenthood’s alleged sale of preborn remains for profit. The last few years there have seen the abortion business struggle to manage self-inflicted media controversies. The result is that the abortion business has lost the support of many Americans. In 2018, only 62% of Americans had a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood.
When it comes to surveys and studies, especially in the area of abortion and LGBT issues, the conclusion is often dictated by politics and personal opinions, not science. Klobuchar’s statements weren’t exactly accurate, but they show that support for abortion and Planned Parenthood within the Democrat party remains strong, despite the country’s growing dislike of the abortion business.
Follow Brittany on Twitter @brittanyraymer.
Photo by Gage Skidmore