Not All 'Pro-Lifers' Are Completely Delusional

pro-life protestPlenty o' liberals around the country are probably groaning and lots o' Republicans are likely cheering upon quickly perusing one of today's big news stories. According to the go-to pollsters, Gallup, Americans who identify themselves as "pro-choice" are at an all-time low. Just 41 percent ascribe that label to themselves, whereas 50 percent say they're "pro-life."

Ack! When you consider that back in 1995, the numbers were dramatically different, with 56 percent identifying as pro-choice to only 33 percent as pro-life, it feels like -- between this and the GOP's war on women -- we've taken a huge step backward as a country. But then again, choicers like me, take heart: It's not really as bad as it sounds on the surface.

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Gallup notes that while fewer people might be labeling themselves "pro-choice," the number of people who actually believe abortion should be legal hasn't changed significantly in the last decade. In fact, 77 percent of Americans support abortion being legal in all or "certain circumstances," whereas only 20 percent are actually "pro-life" in the sense that opponents of legalized abortion understand the term. In other words, only 20 percent think like Rick Santorum and say abortion -- likely in all forms, in all different circumstances -- should be banned. Whew!

Although ... crap ... that is still a lot when you think of how extreme his views are. Oh well. Still, not nearly as terrifying as 50 percent!

Plus, as Mother Jones points out, another way of seeing this is simply that most Americans are actually pro-choice ... even if they say, on paper, that they're pro-life. They really do want women to have reproductive freedom to choose. They just want to say they support life. It's semantics, really ... as long as at the end of the day, people who are actually pro-choice (albeit identifying as pro-life) vote for the politicians whose platforms and promises actually reflect their own. Fingers crossed!

How do you identify -- pro-choice or pro-life -- and what do you believe should be legal? Do you think being "pro-life" means believing abortion should be banned 100 percent?

 

Image via Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

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