A slim majority of Americans think the Democratic Party position on abortion is “mainstream,” according to a new NBC poll.
The poll, which tells more about public perception than actual positions on the issue, found that 51 percent of Americans believe Democrat leaders’ views on abortion are in the mainstream, while 41 percent disagreed, the Washington Examiner reports. That is a change from a 54-34 percent split on the same question in 2015.
In a separate question, 38 percent said the Republican Party position on abortion is in the mainstream, while 54 percent disagreed.
The results suggest that many Americans are not familiar with the extreme position of the Democratic Party on abortion. While polls consistently show that a majority of Americans, including Democrats, support abortion restrictions, most Democrat politicians do not.
The Democratic Party platform supports unrestricted abortion up to birth and taxpayer-funded abortions. What’s more, prominent Democrats recently exposed their extreme position by opposing the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill to protect newborns from infanticide. Every Senate Democrat running for president in 2020 voted against the bill.
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These positions are far from mainstream, as polls consistently indicate. A recent national poll by Marist University found that a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, while 39 percent support them. Similarly, a 2016 Politico/Harvard University poll found that just 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it.
Polls also consistently show that most Americans oppose late-term abortions. A national poll by Marist University found that three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.
The disconnect between public perception and actual positions on abortion has come up in polls before. A 2013 Gallup poll found that more Americans believe the public is pro-choice than it actually is. When asked how they think most Americans feel about the abortion issue, 51 percent of U.S. adults said the public is mostly “pro-choice,” while 35 percent said “pro-life.” The number of people who actually identified as pro-life was 48 percent, while 46 percent said they were pro-choice.
These results speak to the need for better voter education. Pro-life advocates work hard to teach voters about politicians extremes on the issue, but they work against a biased mainstream news media, Hollywood and a billion dollar abortion industry.
More needs to be done to counter their pro-abortion bias, but hope remains. The American people continue to oppose abortion, even four decades after Roe v. Wade. And polls show voters are shifting more pro-life after Democrats voted against the bill to protect newborns from infanticide.