Last week we discussed a recent Gallup poll showing that the number of Americans calling themselves "pro-choice" is at an all-time low. William Saleton at Slate.com considered the same poll when asking, "Why are Americans becoming more liberal on homosexuality but not on abortion?" He points out:
At best, support for abortion is barely holding its ground, way below support for contraception, while approval of gay sex and gay marriage are soaring. Something about abortion continues to alienate people who are willing to take a more liberal view of birth control and homosexuality. What is it?Saleton goes on to reference many surveys that show the population has become more supportive of women's rights and reproductive freedom in other ways, yet, regarding abortion, public opinion has not shifted toward the pro-choice perspective. If anything, it has shifted away, toward the pro-life view. Saleton concludes:
When public opinion turns toward reproductive freedom and equal rights for women but continues to oppose abortion, it punctures our dismissal of pro-life sentiment as a vestige of right-wing sexism. Spin and soundbites won’t make the evidence go away. Sooner or later, you'll have to face it.