Abortion Still an Important Issue to Voters
Special Report - October 15, 2008
A majority of Americans in a new survey commissioned by the Elliot Institute said that a political candidate’s position on abortion is “somewhat important” or “very important” to how they will vote in the upcoming election. Findings from the survey, “Politics and Post-Abortion Awareness Survey,” were released October 10 at a panel discussion on post-abortion mental health effects hosted by the Family Research Council in Washington, DC. Over 600 American adults participated in the national random telephone survey, which was conducted by DialingServices.com in February 2008. Among the key findings:
- When asked to indicate the impact of a candidate’s views on abortion on their vote in the upcoming election, 60.2 percent of Americans said that a candidate’s position on abortion is “very important” and 22.9 percent said it is “somewhat important.”
- 85 percent of American adults said that negative emotional problems after abortion are either “common or very common,” including over 60 percent of those who identified as pro-abortion.
- More than half (54.5 percent) of those surveyed said that having an abortion generally makes a woman’s life worse, while only 15.4 percent said abortion generally makes a woman’s life better (12.3 percent said it has “little impact,” and 17.8 percent were unsure).
- Roughly half of those surveyed said that it is “common or very common for women to feel pressured into having an abortion,” compared to 14 percent who said it was rare for women to feel pressured.
- 80 percent said that doctors should screen women feeling pressured into abortion.
- 71 percent believe more research into the negative emotional effects of abortion should be “medium to high priority” (41 percent said it should be “high priority.”)
Approximately 16 percent of the survey’s participants said they had personally been involved in “advising” a woman to have an abortion (80 percent said they had not, and three percent were unsure). The survey found that participants who identified themselves as “pro-choice” were “evenly split” regarding the prevalence and severity of post-abortion effects, but more than half of this group said they believe doctors should “screen for women being pressured into unwanted abortions.”
“As this survey indicates, abortion is very much on the minds of voters this fall because most Americans recognize that abortion is more than merely a ‘choice.’ In addition to taking the life of an innocent unborn child, abortion negatively impacts millions of women who later come to regret the choice they made, often because they were not given another option,” said Matt Lytle, director of research for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Citizens today need to recognize abortion for what it isa terrible human tragedy that causes enormous loss and suffering, particularly for women. Furthermore, lawmakers need to stop ignoring the harms of abortion and do more to ensure that women are given compassionate alternatives, such as adoption.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.