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If you're anti-abortion, the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll should send eyebrows into hairlines. For the first time in a decade, a majority of respondents feel abortion should be legal--and a whopping 70 percent of respondents oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. And according to the pollsters, the anti-abortion extremists only have themselves to blame.
“These are profound changes,” says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and his colleagues.
McInturff adds that the abortion-related events and rhetoric over the past year – which included controversial remarks on abortion and rape by two Republican Senate candidates, as well as a highly charged debate over contraception – helped shaped these changing poll numbers.
“The dialogue we have had in the last year has contributed … to inform and shift attitudes.”
I can personally vouch for this. As many of you know, I was (weakly) pro-life until a couple of years ago, when what I saw as an increasing lack of respect for basic human dignity from the pro-life movement, combined with some horribly invasive laws, pushed me back to the pro-choice side after almost a decade.
The internals look even more encouraging. Out of the 70 percent who favor Roe v. Wade, 57 percent strongly support retaining it. That's compared to only 51 percent who felt strongly about it when that question was first asked in 2005. So much for a culture of life.
You know what the anti-abortion crowd is going to say--that a majority opposed integrating the schools back in the 1950s. One problem--there's a difference between granting rights that were already there and taking them away.
9:14 AM PT: It should also be noted that the percentage of those who strongly favor overturning Roe has dropped by a whopping five points over the last seven years--from 26 percent in 2005 to 21 percent now.