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USAbortion rights: Why it's hard to gauge Americans' support

15:10  16 may  2019
15:10  16 may  2019 Source:   cnn.com

As States Race to Limit Abortions, Alabama Goes Further, Seeking to Outlaw Most of Them

As States Race to Limit Abortions, Alabama Goes Further, Seeking to Outlaw Most of Them Amid a flurry of new limits on abortion being sought in states around the nation, Alabama is weighing a measure that would go further than all of them — outlawing most abortions almost entirely. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The effort in Alabama, where the State Senate could vote as soon as Thursday, is unfolding as Republicans, emboldened by President Trump and the shifting alignment of the Supreme Court, intensify a long-running campaign to curb abortion access.

Republican-run state governments are clearly aiming for a Supreme Court showdown over Roe v. Wade. Georgia recently passed a law banning most abortions after six weeks, and Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban.

While a majority of Americans support legalized abortion in early pregnancy, most oppose it in the later stages, according to the survey. Responses varied by demographics. Men and women expressed similar support for abortion rights , though men were slightly more supportive of

Abortion rights: Why it's hard to gauge Americans' support© SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images Pro-choice activists hold signs in response to anti-abortion activists participating in the "March for Life," an annual event to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the US, outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, January 18, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican-run state governments are clearly aiming for a Supreme Court showdown over Roe v. Wade. Georgia recently passed a law banning most abortions after six weeks, and Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban. Both efforts are part of more than a dozen such successful and unsuccessful attempts this year.

Alabama Lawmakers Vote to Effectively Ban Abortion in the State

Alabama Lawmakers Vote to Effectively Ban Abortion in the State The Alabama Senate approved a measure on Tuesday that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state, setting up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the case that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy. 

It might have to do with another fact about public opinion on abortion — it ' s a topic for which the realities are anything but black and white, which is exactly how the arguments are all too often framed in the political arena. A majority of Americans support legal abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Parfois, on a l’impression que les Américains parlent avec une patate chaude dans la bouche. Il y a une explication linguistique simple pourquoi.

Not surprisingly, the blowback has been stiff from abortion rights groups and politicians. Some have even called for a boycott of Georgia.

The collision between the two sides might make you believe that we have two well-defined sides when it comes to the issue of abortion. And while there is clearly some consistency, abortion is a rather tricky issue because it's not clear how many in the middle actually feel about it.

Depending on how you ask about abortion rights, Americans are either overwhelmingly in favor of them or they are split down the middle.

So if you're left a little confused about where Americans stand on abortion rights, that's understandable.

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power When the Alabama State Senate passed their controversial bill which would ban most abortions, not one of the four female state senators voted for it. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The fact that there are only four female state senators in the Heart of Dixie comes as little surprise to political observers, as the state ranks among the lowest in terms of female representation in state legislatures.

Opponents of abortion rights have concentrated on chipping away at those rights with various restrictions, such as parental involvement and biased NBC/Wall Street Journal polls gauge support for abortion rights in a different manner, by asking “Which of the following best represents your views

Abortion - rights advocates ( right ) and anti- abortion advocates (left) rally outside of the Supreme Court in Public support for legal abortion remains as high as it has been in two decades of polling, and 5 The vast majority of Americans expect abortion to remain at least mostly legal in the U. S . A survey

The clearest takeaway is that there are some Americans who are clearly on either side of the divide, while for many it isn't as clearly defined. How the question is phrased definitely matters. It's not entirely clear that Democrats or Republicans have the upper hand in the abortion debate.

Every single recent poll indicates that Americans are more likely to be in favor of abortion rights than not. A Pew Research Center poll from late last year found that 58% of Americans say abortion should be always or mostly legal, compared with 37% who say it should be always or mostly illegal. This mostly lines up with 2018 Gallup polling that discovered that 60% of Americans think first trimester abortions should generally be legal and 64% don't want Roe, which guaranteed the right to an abortion in the first trimester, to be overturned.

Indeed, anti-abortion ballot measures have at best a mixed history in recent years. Personhood ballot measures have gone down in defeat in many states. Even in the deep red state of West Virginia, an amendment that said women didn't have the right to abortion barely passed in 2018.

Busy Philipps counters anti-abortion laws with #YouKnowMe; Lady Gaga, others speak out

Busy Philipps counters anti-abortion laws with #YouKnowMe; Lady Gaga, others speak out Busy Philipps and other celebrities have taken to social media to push back against anti-abortion legislation being considered by many states.

Here's Why the Gag Rule on Abortion Is So Dangerous and Misguided. It ’ s a lot of political and legal jargon to work through on your own which can conceal the stark reality here: This is a huge deal, and reproductive rights nationwide are in even more jeopardy than before.

The abortion rights movement, in contrast, is a movement of autonomy. The assertion of a right is often enough to end an argument. But there is an ethical and political alternative, emphasizing an inclusive concern for the common good and solidarity with the most vulnerable members of the human

These data points might suggest Democrats and abortion rights activists have the upper hand in the abortion debate.

But other polling and Republicans' ability to continue passing anti-abortion laws suggest that it's not a clear-cut win.

At least part of the problem for Democrats and abortion rights activists has to do with something that dogs liberals in general. Many people will say they support liberal issues, while, at the same time, culturally identifying themselves with conservative causes and politicians who believe the opposite.

Republican Mitt Romney, for example, won 40% of voters in 2012 who said abortion should mostly be legal. By the time Romney ran for president, he was opposed to most types of abortion.

Another way to think about the abortion debate is to declare oneself as either "pro-choice" (i.e. pro-abortion rights) or "pro-life" (i.e. anti-abortion). This is the way politicians will often label themselves, as will groups on the different sides of the abortion debate. It's the pro-abortion-rights group "NARAL Pro-Choice America" and the anti-abortion "March for Life."

Abortion bills push women's reproductive rights into political spotlight

Abortion bills push women's reproductive rights into political spotlight Eight months after the contentious hearings over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, progressives fear that the most dire warnings of abortion rights groups are now coming to fruition. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); This week, Alabama passed the country's most restrictive abortion ban, soon followed by Missouri passing its own strict anti-abortion legislation.

When asked whether they're "pro-choice" or "pro-life," Americans are much more divided. The same 2018 Gallup polling that discovered that 60% of Americans were for abortion rights in the first trimester found an even split between the 48% of Americans who called themselves pro-choice and the 48% of Americans who called themselves pro-life.

Indeed, take a look at recent polling from Georgia when it came to the state Legislature bill on banning most abortions after six weeks (1.5 months) of pregnancy. This was an issue in which Democrats and Republicans in the state government had clearly defined their positions, with Republicans passing the law and most Democrats knocking it. In other words, the legislation had become identified with the conservative cause. About 49% were against the bill and about 44% were for it in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, which was done as the bill was debated and passed by the Legislature, but ended before it was signed into law. That split fell within the margin of error and is generally reflective of a state in which President Donald Trump is unpopular, though not overwhelmingly so.

Respondents in that same poll, however, were against overturning Roe by nearly 3 to 1. This was even though respondents were told that Roe allowed abortions during the first three months of pregnancy.

Hundreds protest Alabama's abortion ban at state capitol

Hundreds protest Alabama's abortion ban at state capitol Hundreds of demonstrators marched to the Alabama Capitol on Sunday to protest the state's newly approved abortion ban, chanting "my body, my choice!" and "vote them out!"The demonstration came days after Gov. Kay Ivey signed the most stringent abortion law in the nation— making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases unless necessary for the mother's health. The law provides no exception for rape and incest. "Banning abortion does not stop abortion. It stops safe abortion," said Staci Fox, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, addressing the cheering crowd outside the Alabama Capitol.

These two views are, at first glance, incongruent with each other. You'd expect more opposition to a ruling that allowed for fewer restrictions on abortion. Yet it's pretty clear looking at the polling that the shift was in large part driven by Republican voters reacting positively to their party pushing and passing the law. Opposition to Roe was about 27 points lower among Republicans (43%) than support for the new abortion law ban (70%). Among Democrats, opposition to Roe was only about 13 points lower than support for the new law.

Another issue is for abortion rights activists nationwide is that it's not entirely clear what the about 35% of Americans who say abortion should "mostly be legal" mean by "mostly." Does that mean they believe abortion is a choice always left up to a woman and her doctor? Perhaps not.

When Gallup asked Americans about whether a first trimester abortion should be allowed for "any reason," support dropped from 60% to 45%. Now, obviously, "any reason" is the loosest definition. Still, it shows that even first trimester abortion support is subject to the wording of the question.

When asked whether abortions should be allowed for pregnancy resulting from "rape or incest," Americans' support goes up to 77%. The Georgia bill allows for this exception, which could explain partially why opposition to it drops compared with opposition to Roe. (Alabama's new law does not.) Questions about Roe generally say it's a constitutionally given right, though they usually don't say that women can have an abortion "for any reason."

The high support for rape and incest exceptions might be why a lot of Republican presidential candidates (like Romney) say they are against abortion except in the cases of rape or incest. If the abortion debate is defined by the law passed in Georgia, Republicans and anti-abortion groups stand a better chance of winning in the court of opinion. If, however, it is defined by the law passed by the Alabama Legislature, it will hurt their chances.

Read More

White Women Are Helping States Pass Abortion Restrictions.
Their support for Republican officials has been key to the GOP’s strength in the South.

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