Associated Press Story Misleads on Partial-Birth Abortion Polling

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 18, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Associated Press Story Misleads on Partial-Birth Abortion Polling Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 18
, 2007

New York, NY ( — Responding to the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday upholding a federal ban on the partial-birth abortion procedure, the Associated Press ran a sidebar news story concerning the current state of abortion polls. However, the news article erroneously claimed that Americans do not support a ban.

Claiming that public opinion on abortion is "complex" AP mislead its readers on the three-day-long abortion procedure Congress prohibited.

"Most Americans favor some restrictions on abortion, though not the outright ban on late-term abortions addressed by Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling," the news agency said.

However, polls from a variety of media and other sources find Americans consistently support a partial-birth abortion ban in a broad bipartisan fashion.

A March 2005 Harris poll found that 72% of Americans said abortion should be illegal in the second three months of pregnancy, and 86% said abortion should be illegal in the last three months of pregnancy.

A late July 2006 poll by Quinnipiac University found 76 percent of Americans believe partial-birth abortions should be illegal except when necessary to save the life of the mother. Only 15 percent supported the partial-birth abortion procedure.

Another July 2006 poll, commissioned by American Values and the American Family Association, found that 65 percent of those surveyed disagreed with the Supreme Court’s 2000 decision overturning a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions.

Finally, in March 2006, a Fox News poll found that Americans back a partial-birth abortion ban by a 61-28 percent margin with even Democrats (51-35 percent) supporting it. Women (66-23) were more likely than men (55-32) to support the ban on the gruesome abortion procedure.