Planned Parenthood Prez Claims Election Means Catholics Now Pro-Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 17, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Prez Falsely Says Election Means Catholics Pro-Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 17
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — The president of Planned Parenthood claims the election results showing a majority of Catholics supported pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama means Catholics now support abortion. However, Cecille Richards’ contention doesn’t square with the most recent polling results showing Catholics pro-life.

In a Monday opinion column, Richards points to the exit polling data showing 54 percent of Catholics backed Obama.

They did so, Richards says "despite entreaties from Catholic leadership to vote against Senator Obama because of his support for abortion rights."

"While this may come as a surprise to Catholic bishops who are meeting this week to discuss the election, it is consistent with what we know about the attitudes of Catholic voters," Richards claims.

Yet polling data specifically on Catholics and abortion finds otherwise.

A Marist College poll conducted in October found a majority of Catholics take a pro-life position and almost one-third of Catholic voters who say they are "pro-choice" on abortion actually oppose all or most abortions.

The Marist survey found 63 percent of Catholics say abortions should be permitted in none or almost no cases by opposing all abortions, all abortions except to save the mother’s life, or all abortions except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest.

That puts 63 percent of Catholics opposing about 98 percent of all abortions, according to Alan Guttmacher Institute information about when abortions are done.

Breaking down the polling data further, 72 percent of practicing Catholics take one of the three pro-life positions opposing all or almost all abortions. And 47 percent of non-practicing Catholics say they oppose all or most abortions.

In addition, the Marist College poll found just 6 percent of all Catholics, 5 percent of practicing Catholics and 8 percent of non-practicing Catholics say they agree with Barack Obama that abortions should be legal at any time during pregnancy.

With presidential exit polling data confirming the economy was far and away the number one issue on which voters made their decision for president, Richards’ contention that the results show Catholics now somehow support abortion is off base.

Combining the presidential results, the exit polls and the polling data, the only plausible conclusion is that some Catholic voters backed Obama despite their disagreement with him on abortion.

"It’s time all of us, including elected leaders and religious leaders, listen to the voters," Richards concludes in the editorial. Perhaps she is getting too much static.

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