An interesting data set was released by The Guardian recently taking a look at public opinion on abortion in the United States as opposed to other first world countries:
The US is much more hostile to abortion than other countries in the developed world, with more Americans opposed to terminations than supportive, according to a survey of 23 of the world’s biggest countries.
The YouGov-Cambridge Globalism survey, which was conducted before this week’s move in Alabama to impose the strictest abortion legislation anywhere in the US, found 46% of Americans said abortion was unacceptable, compared with 38% who found it acceptable.
The poll puts the US on a par with developing countries such as India (48-37%) and Turkey (47-41%), but considerably out of step with America’s rich-nation peers.
“The US is exceptional compared with other highly developed countries on religiosity,” said Andrew Whitehead, a professor who studies religion in the US at Clemson University, South Carolina. “Even though the US is growing more secular over time, we are an outlier compared with western Europe or other countries that are similarly advanced technologically.”
It is particularly encouraging to consider the fact that nearly a half-century out from Roe v. Wade, the abortion debate has not gone away, and the pro-life movement has continued to gain ground. Over and over again the demise of the pro-life movement has been predicted, and each time that prediction proved to be rather premature. More:
Supporters of the US president were even more anti-abortion: 78% of Donald Trump voters said abortion was unacceptable, with just 18% approving of terminations. Rural areas were significantly more anti-abortion than cities.
People who sympathise with Trump’s positions are often those who seek more religion in public life, such as prayer in school. “When we look at moral issues like abortion there’s such as strong correlation between conservative religiosity and attitudes toward abortion,” Whitehead said.
When Trump calls to overturn Roe versus Wade, the landmark 1973 US supreme court decision that legalised abortion, “he’s speaking their language”.
The better educated an individual, the more likely they were to approve of a woman’s right to have an abortion. Older people were less persuaded of a woman’s right to choose than the young: 53% of those aged 55 and over were opposed, compared to 34% of 18-24 year olds.
Patriots were more anti-abortion than the average American. Of those who expressed the view that the US is the best country in the world, 65% were anti-abortion.
Abortion is the defining issue of our time. Progressives may insist that it is simply another form of healthcare, but the fact that the debate continues to tear the country apart proves that nobody is buying that lie—not even themselves.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.