Poll: Americans Favor Mandatory Waiting Period Before an Abortion

National   |   Rebecca Downs   |   Jan 13, 2014   |   11:03AM   |   Washington, DC

A Rasmussen  poll from July 9, 2013 shows that although slightly more Americans polled consider themselves pro-choice, that percentage of 46% is “the lowest finding in three years of regular surveying.

In a poll from just last Sunday, January 5, 2014, Rasmussen Reports starts off with this:

While most voters identify themselves as pro-choice, support for a mandatory waiting period prior to an abortion is at its highest level in over two years.

That number, though not a majority, is just below that, at 49%, which is a plurality of voters. Only 39% are opposed to mandatory waiting periods, with 11% undecided. The Guttmacher Institute’s “State Policies in Brief” from January 1 of this year on “Counseling and Waiting Periods for Abortion” mentions that of “35 states requir[ing] that women receive counseling before an abortion is performed[…] 26 of these states also require women to wait a specified amount of time—most often 24 hours—between the counseling and the abortion procedure.”

Support for a waiting period, especially one that is 24 hours, should be commonsense, even amongst those who are pro-choice. One may support a woman having an abortion, and want us to “trust women,” but an abortion is still a permanent decision, with ramifications and consequences that could last a lifetime for some women.

This amount of time allows a woman to truly consider her options, to ensure she is not making a decision she does not actually want. Washington, DC instituted a waiting period, but for tattoos and piercings, despite having no waiting period or limitations on abortion. Brad Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute reported on this in September 2013, calling it “[t]he latest act of hypocrisy.”

Mattes also referenced in his article a statement from a spokesperson of the Health Department:

The Health Department declares it’s necessary so people in our nation’s capital don’t regret getting tattooed or pierced. One spokesperson said, “We’re making sure when the decision is made you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning saying ‘What happened?’”

Granted, one may come to regret a tattoo or piercing, but one may just as well regret an abortion, and even more so. Regardless as to if we trust women to get an abortion, it kills a human being. It would at least be a step in the right direction to have some consistency when it comes to such procedures as getting an abortion as the less invasive procedure of getting a tattoo or piercing.

A piece from The Huffington Post from June 2013 by Katy Hall and Jan Diehm ranted about “Fewer Waiting Periods For Guns Than For Abortions.” While gun-related deaths are certainly tragic, it is hypocritical as well to lament a lack of waiting periods for guns but not abortion, since again, abortion done properly always results in the death of a child.

Lauren Enk took on Hall and Diehm on the same day with her piece for MRC Culture and Media Institute, in which she pointed out that abortion certainly causes a lot more deaths than guns do in the United States each year.

With the amount of states which do have a waiting period in place, NARAL and Planned Parenthood show how out of touch they are with the American people. It seems these groups will oppose just about anything that regulates abortion in any way, despite how much such a regulation may actually help women.

NARAL has a page titled “Biased Counseling and Mandatory Delays” in which it starts off by saying:

Biased-counseling and mandatory-delay laws prohibit women from receiving abortion care until they are subjected to a state-mandated lecture and/or materials, typically followed by a delay of at least 24 hours.

The page also mentions that such “delays create additional burdens for women…”



Planned Parenthood mentions these waiting periods, in their “Q&A Section with Dr. Cullins.”  The answer is rather biased for the question “What’s wrong with having a 24-hour waiting period before abortion?” Gee, tell us how you really feel about them. The first part of the answer even says this, with no links provided to back up such a claim:

State laws that require mandatory waiting periods before a woman can get an abortion do not offer any health benefits. They result in increased expenses, travel difficulties, and medical risks. They unnecessarily postpone the procedure even when a woman has already made a deliberate, mature, and fully informed choice.

NARAL and Planned Parenthood may find waiting periods and counseling “insulting” and that they “unnecessarily postpone the procedure…” but a plurality of Americans would disagree. It is abortion that is insulting to women, and this procedure that is to be postponed? Well, it just may save both the mother and her unborn child.

LifeNews Note: Rebecca Downs is a recent graduate of Fordham University, where she was involved in the Respect for Life club there. She is currently with C-FAM, a Catholic pro-life group in New York City. Reprinted with permission from Live Action News.