Some Young Americans Marched for Abortion, But Majority are Pro-Life

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Some Young Americans Marched for Abortion, But Majority are Pro-Life

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 27, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Far fewer people attended Sunday’s pro-abortion march than organizers predicted, but the media and abortion advocates are touting those who did, many of them young Americans, as representative of the next generation of American leaders.

"Though the pictures of Sunday’s abortion-rights march in Washington focused on the size of the crowd, the truer story of its political impact could be measured by the age of the demonstrators," Knight Ridder reported in a story Tuesday.

"More college-age women showed up than usually attend abortion-rights rallies, which tend to be dominated by older women."

However, according to a new poll by Zogby International, a majority of young Americans take a pro-life view on abortion.

The Zogby poll found that 51.6% of 18-29 year-olds call themselves "pro-life."

"This is remarkable, not just because it confirms that a majority of the post-Roe generation is pro-life, but that they label themselves so," says Holly Smith, director of youth outreach for the National Right to Life Committee.

Though a majority call themselves pro-life, a much larger percentage actually take a pro-life position on abortion.

In the Zogby poll, 60 percent of 18-29 year-olds took one of three varying pro-life positions on abortion while only 39 percent agreed with the three pro-abortion stances. Some twenty-six percent of young Americans said abortions should never be legal.

"Anecdotal evidence and polling over the last several years have demonstrated a clear trend of youth becoming more and more pro-life," Smith indicated.

She said requests to join Teens for Life and National College Students for Life, NRLC outreach programs, have increased.

Abortion’s impact on young Americans can’t be overstated.

According to Smith, 52% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 19%. One of every five abortions is performed on college women. And 43% of American women will have at least one abortion by age 45.

"America’s youth will never know the unborn victims of abortion, but we know that between one-fourth and one-third of our classmates, friends, teammates and even siblings never saw the light of day because of legal abortion," Smith explained.

"They weren’t with us in the sandboxes and playgrounds, at slumber parties and at high school proms, nor in our college dorms or graduation exercises. And they should have been," Smith said.

Though the media says the abortion march shows young women are predominantly pro-abortion, the reports contradict previous stories that show young people, including young women, dominated the pro-life march as well.

In the Washington Post’s coverage of the annual March for Life in January, Manny Fernandez reported, "The event was attended by scores of teenagers and college-age students. And were it not for the signs and chants, the young people in varsity letterman jackets, dyed hair, school backpacks and pierced eyebrows would have seemed at home at a Pearl Jam concert."

The Zogby poll confirms that young Americans don’t want abortion to be as prevalent as it is today.

On the question of whether abortion should not be permitted after the fetal heartbeat begins, 65.5% of 18-29 year-olds agreed, 46.9% strongly so. The human heart begins to beat 18-21 days after fertilization, before most women realize they are pregnant.

When 18-29 year-olds were asked if abortion should not be permitted after fetal brain waves are detected, 73% agreed, 52.8% of those agreed strongly. Brain waves are detectable six weeks after fertilization, before most abortions are performed.

Additionally, 82.4% of 18-29 year-old respondents disagreed with the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions and 74.5% of 18-29 year-olds favor laws that women who are 20 weeks or further along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion.

"As a pro-life woman born after Roe v. Wade, I can’t help but grin," Smith says when she hears about the pro-life views of young adults.

"The other side is completely befuddled by the ‘ingratitude’ of our generation for the ‘right’ to abortion," Smith concludes. "Yet, young people recognize that harm has been done to each of us as a result of losing 43 million peers. And by seeing family and friends that have suffered following their own abortions, we know that abortion hurts women."

Zogby International polled 1,209 individuals from April 15-17 and the margin of error is +/- 2.8 percent.

Related web sites:
National Right to Life –