In Saturday’s Washington Post, longtime Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller predicted pro-lifers would be disgusting on Monday: “Anti-abortion activists are preparing for Monday’s Right to Life rally and are planning to launch a graphic abortion video that makes the old, pro-choice coat-hanger signs look like Disney movies.” As usual, abortion advocates find videos of abortion distasteful, while abortion as a concept is a glorious exercise in freedom of choice.
Miller lectured “Politicians may not be able to hold two contradictory ideas in their head at the same time, but people can.” She moved on to mangle the polls on abortion to paint a picture of a large pro-abortion majority:
Abortion makes many Americans squeamish, but they want it to be legal (not unlike Romney’s stance when he was governor of Massachusetts). In a Time poll last summer, 64 percent of people said they thought a woman had the right to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester. In a Gallup poll around the same time, 77 percent said they thought abortion should sometimes or always be legal. The proportion who think abortion laws should be more restrictive than they are has hovered for a decade at about a third. And half of Americans, even those who think abortion should always be legal, also believe it’s morally wrong.
But a look at the abortion-poll page at Pollingreport,com shows that Gallup asked if it should be “sometimes legal,” and 50 percent chose the middle ground, so you could just as easily say 72 percent said abortion should sometimes or always be illegal. The question underneath -- are you pro-choice or pro-life? -- is 49-45 “pro-choice,” but Miller makes it look like pro-lifers are a tiny minority.
See the brand new CBS/New York Times poll and you could argue 60 percent want stricter limits on abortion than the present policies. Miller wasn't looking at that when she claimed only a third of voters wanted more restrictions on abortion.