“Liar, liar, pants on fire.” The old children’s saying appears to apply to the Planned Parenthood abortion business when it comes to a claim that a majority of Americans support late-term abortions. Surprisingly, liberal icon and abortion cheerleader Washington Post is calling the abortion giant on the carpet for its false claims.
“A solid 60 percent of voters oppose 20-week bans when they understand the real-world impact these laws would have,” Planned Parenthood claimed in a news release on June 11. As longtime LifeNews readers know, that’s not true and the Washington Post gave the abortion company two Pinnochios for telling fibs.
Here’s what it said:
A cursory search of polling on public sentiment on the controversial 20-week ban shows that the majority of voters actually support the restriction. But this particular quote by Planned Parenthood Action Fund is worth a deeper dive; public attitudes toward abortion and confusion over the bill’s language make this issue much more intricate than that.
The poll referenced in the Planned Parenthood news release was conducted by Hart Research Associates in August 2013, amid debate over the 2013 version of the bill. The Hart survey of 1,011 registered voters was unlike other surveys, and set out to measure voters’ circumstantial opinions of the 20-week bans.
However, Americans generally are opposed to abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. A 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll found 56 percent of voters preferred limiting unrestricted abortion rights to 20 weeks rather than 24 weeks. A 2012 Gallup poll found 61 percent of Americans believe abortion should generally be legal during the first trimester, but the support dropped to 27 percent in the second trimester and 14 percent in the third trimester.
A more recent national poll asked a circumstantial question about abortions “after 20 weeks of pregnancy” except in cases of rape and incest, similar to the first question in the Hart poll. But the result was the opposite. The November 2014 Quinnipiac poll found 60 percent of registered voters support a ban after 20 weeks, except in cases of rape and incest that are reported to authorities. A National Journal poll in 2013 found a 48-44 split on the 20-week ban.
Planned Parenthood’s claim is still misleading.
The Post is right that countless polls show Americans support banning late-term abortions.
The vast majority of Americans are still very uncomfortable with abortion, according to a January Marist University poll. The survey finds support for abortion restrictions among both “pro-life” and “pro-choice” supporters. Despite the strong support, President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the pro-life bill.
According to the national survey, 84% of Americans want significant restrictions on abortion, and would limit abortions to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This includes almost 7 in 10 (69 percent) who identify themselves as “pro-choice” who support such abortion limits and oppose late-term abortions.
The same percentage (84 percent) also says that laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the life of the unborn. In addition, by more than 20 points (60 percent to 38 percent), Americans say abortion is morally wrong.
Other national polls also show strong support nationwide for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and stopping late-term abortions.
A poll conducted for the liberal Huffington Post find Americans support the ban on late-term abortions starting at 20-weeks of pregnancy by almost a 2-1 margin.
A national poll by The Polling Company found that, after being informed that there is scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least by 20 weeks, 64% would support a law banning abortion after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life was in danger. Only 30% said they would oppose such a law.
A November 2014 poll from Quinnipiac found that 60 percent of Americans support legislation limiting abortions after 20 weeks, including 56 percent of Independents and 46 percent of Democrats.