FNC Highlights Pew Poll Showing Public Trending More Pro-Life

On Friday's Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC correspondent Molly Henneberg filed a report relaying to viewers that a recently released Pew poll finds a continuing trend of pro-life sentiment gaining ground in public opinion in America. Last May, a Gallup poll showed a similar pro-life trend. After Baier introduced her report by observing that "popular support for abortion rights is on the decline," Henneberg began by relaying that, according to the poll, "fewer Americans than last year are comfortable with the idea of legal abortions in all or most cases."

She then summarized:

They were asked if abortion should be illegal or legal in all or most cases. In August 2008, there was a 13 percent difference between the two sides. Now this year, August 2009, the two sides are almost split evenly with the pro-choice side losing seven percent. 

The percentage of those who believe abortion should be "illegal in all/most cases" increased from 41 to 45 percent between August 2008 and August 2009, while the percentage of those who believe abortion should be "legal in all/most cases" declined from 54 to 47 percent between August 2008 and August 2009.

Henneberg also highlighted the finding that those who support making abortions more difficult to obtain have gained substantial ground on those who oppose doing so. Henneberg:

Respondents were also asked if getting an abortion should be more difficult. In January 2007, those who opposed making it more difficult had the majority by 21 percent. This year, that margin is nine percent, 50 to 41.

The percentage of those who support "making abortion more difficult" increased from 35 to 41 percent between January 2007 and August 2009, while the percentage of those who oppose "making abortion more difficult" declined from 56 to 50 percent between January 2007 and August 2009.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday, October 2, Special Report with Bret Baier, from FNC: 

BRET BAIER: Well, it appears popular support for abortion rights is on the decline. Correspondent Molly Henneberg joins us live with some interesting opinion poll numbers. Good evening, Molly.

MOLLY HENNEBERG: Hi, Bret. Fewer Americans than last year are comfortable with the idea of legal abortions in all or most cases, according to a new Pew poll of 4,000 Americans. They were asked if abortion should be illegal or legal in all or most cases. In August 2008, there was a 13 percent difference between the two sides. Now this year, August 2009, the two sides are almost split evenly with the pro-choice side losing seven percent.

Respondents were also asked if getting an abortion should be more difficult. In January 2007, those who opposed making it more difficult had the majority by 21 percent. This year, that margin is nine percent, 50 to 41. Pro-life advocates say the numbers are reactions to some of President Obama's decisions. They point to his move in January to restore federal funding to clinics overseas that provide abortion, and they argue that the Democrats' health care reform bills would not keep federal funds from being used for abortions.

DAVID O'STEEN, NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE COMMITTEE: If any of these pass as currently drafted, it will result in perhaps the greatest expansion of abortions since Roe v. Wade.

HENNEBERG: But Planned Parenthood says, "Voters' attitudes toward abortion are both consistent and unambiguous in terms of how the issue is handled as a matter of public policy. A strong majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade and want to see it upheld." And Planned Parenthood points to a June New York Times/CBS poll showing that 62 percent of Americans believe Roe versus Wade was "a good thing," and that's up two points from 2005.