1998 Abortion Poll

Most Americans Say Abortion Should Be Banned After Fetal Brainwaves Are Detected, Poll Finds

Bauer Says 'Pulse Of The Nation Reads Americans Are More Pro-Life'

WASHINGTON, -- "It's true. Americans are becoming increasingly pro-life and are strongly opposed to later-term abortions," Family Research Council President Gary Bauer said Wednesday. "Elected officials must make progress in banning abortion by standing with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose partial-birth abortion and later-term abortions."

Bauer spoke Wednesday at a news conference held at the Family Research Council where polling data were released and pro-life strategy discussed. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey, his son Chris Casey, and Marjorie Dannenfelser, Chairman of the Board of the pro-life political action committee the Susan B. Anthony List, joined Bauer in discussing the pro-life shift in public opinion and the future of the pro-life movement.

The January 1998 Wirthlin poll commissioned by FRC found:

-- Most Americans believe that abortion should not be permitted after signs of life can be detected. Specifically, 61 percent disagree that "abortion should be permitted after fetal brainwaves are detected," and 58 percent agree that "abortion should not be permitted after the fetal heartbeat has begun." (Note: Fetal brainwaves can be detected as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, and fetal heartbeat usually begins between days 18 and 21.)

-- American attitudes toward abortion have become increasingly pro-life. Most Americans (57 percent) describe their own personal position on abortion as pro-life. Only 21 percent believe that abortion should be legal for any reason during the first three months of pregnancy. Only 10 percent believe abortion should be legal for any reason during the first six months of pregnancy, and only 9 percent feel abortion should be legal at any time during pregnancy and for any reason.

-- Women are more pro-life than men -- a trend over the past decade. Sixty-one percent of women hold a pro-life position compared to 53 percent of men. Women under age 34 and over 55 are more pro-life than middle-aged women.

"In the last quarter of a century, more than 35 million lives have been sacrificed needlessly," Bauer said. "It is a standing rebuke to a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that we are all created equal. The shift in public opinion and behavior is heartening. It shows Americans will continue to chip away at Roe until it is reversed."

Source: The Pro-Life Infonet (infonet-mod@prolife.org)

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