Most Americans Don’t #StandWithWendy After All

Across the board, Americans oppose late-term abortions.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Eric Gay / AP

Senator Wendy Davis filibusters in an effort to kill an abortion bill in Austin, on June 25, 2013.

Polling on late-term abortion is actually pretty consistent. (“One of the clearest messages from Gallup trends is that Americans oppose late-term abortion.”) But you wouldn’t know that from the media, which suggested that if everyone but Texas Republican legislators pretty much #StoodWithWendy.

Not that we talked about what exactly she stood for, such as the right to kill unborn children who had reached five months’ gestation. Usually we use euphemisms to talk about this brand of dehumanizing violence, but this time around we didn’t even get that far. We just talked about shoes.

So today the Washington Post is out with a poll that is unsurprising to those familiar with Americans views on late-term abortion but has media people buzzing:

Majority of Americans favor restricting abortion at 20 weeks, according to new Post-ABC poll

Who knew?

By a margin of 56 to 27 percent, more Americans say they’d prefer to impose limits on abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy

If you add in the percentage of people who volunteered that they think abortion should either always or never be legal, the margin is actually 64-28 percent.

I’ve heard it said that the big delusion that liberals and conservatives share is the idea that conservatism doesn’t hold sway with voters. I know it must be difficult in a media environment that tends more to propaganda than journalism on this topic, but sometimes I get the feeling that there is a similar delusion among activists for or against abortion.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a columnist for Christianity Today and contributor to GetReligion.org. Her writing on religion, economics and baseball has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Federal Times, Radio & Records and Modern Reformation. Originally from Colorado, she lives in Washington with her husband and two children. The views expressed are solely her own. This article was published in partnership with Ricochet, a site that provides right-of-center podcasts, content and conversation for conservatives and libertarians.

94 comments
gritsforbreakfast
gritsforbreakfast

To be fair, the bill did much more than that, placing new onerous requirements on providers. Agree the public dislikes late-term abortions; disagree that that's a fair characterization of why Davis filibustered. I didn't actually support the tactic personally, but you're misrepresenting what the debate was about.

reidh
reidh

Well, DUH. The Main Stream Media got it wrong? Again? How out of touch can they get? How about this quote from their messiah. " I didn't set a red line..." Bwahhaaahhahahaha. A pile more than 17,000 feet high Hah hahahahahah.

TimMulhair
TimMulhair

Media once again baffled by the existence of the silent majority.

EleanorRigby
EleanorRigby

In my view, the issue is not whether to allow abortions, but to allow women their right to govern their own bodies, pregnant or not pregnant.  Instead we allow governments to overrule women's personal decisions. 

 Each woman should maintain the right decide for their self, and no government should make her decisions.

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

Good point. I was beginning to thing Time had gone completely socialist. Nice to see a centrist view for once on here. Pro choice thinks life begins at birth. Pro life thinks it begins at conception. But most Americans are for a compromise, falling somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, supporting abortion generally, but feel that aborting at 6-9 mo is inhumane.

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Who the f..k is Wendy?????!?!?!? I don't see her last name anywhere in this article

sopranoliz
sopranoliz

Here's the right-wing rhetoric in a nutshell:

Teach abstinence-only in schools, and prevent teenagers from accessing contraception.  If they could prevent all non-married couples from having birth control or condoms, they would.

Make it impossible for teenage girls to get abortions without parental permission (regardless of whether that girl is placed at risk for abuse or disownment), and make it difficult for women of any age to get abortions of any type. Put up so many roadblocks to early term abortions that by the time she is actually able to get the abortion, the 5-month limit has already come and gone. Sorry sister!

Cut welfare and benefits for single working parents or unmarried couples with children so that once the unwanted child is born, the parents can't provide for him/her. If you're a teenage mother, forget about it. Don't even THINK of going to college.

In the end, all this blustering about "saving babies" is rubbish. If you really want to help kids, how about putting some regulations on the daycare industry, so that working parents can actually put their kids in a place that meets standards? Why not give the same tax breaks to single-parent households that married couples get? Why not teach people about contraception and make access easy so that unwanted pregnancies don't happen in the first place? Why the knee-jerk reaction to letting gay couples provide a loving family for a child whose natural parents can't take care of him/her? No, this is not about helping kids, that much is for certain. Republicans just don't want you to have sex. They oppose public welfare and regulation but at the same time want to control extremely private aspects of YOUR life. Punish you for having sex with a baby (especially if you're a woman), with no regard for what happens to that baby once he/she is born. Welcome to America.

pippi
pippi

Our bodies, our choice. Simple as that. Why don't you adopt all chidren up for adoption since you care so much about them?

BobSheepleherder
BobSheepleherder

Belief in God shouldn't mean you turn your mind away from reason. The headline and article makes it seem as if Senator Davis were advocating for the wholesale slaughter of late term fetuses. Any REASONABLE advocate, from either side of the abortion issue, would not need to make up lies to support their viewpoint. Hemingway does her side a disservice by PROVING that more than a few "leaders" in the anti-choice crowd are not in the least bit reasonable.

seestonebat
seestonebat

Wow. I was so deeply offended by how dishonest this article is, I actually got a login to this terrible site to comment. As others have said, the author of this propaganda piece intentionally misrepresents the focus of the filibuster as late term abortions rather than preserving early term abortion access. Does Time even read what gets posted here? I won't ever return to this site again. As soon as I complete this posting, I'll delete this account if possible. I recommend everyone as disgusted with Time as I am never return to this site and never buy another magazine.

EW1
EW1

Please. What a totally bogus article. In the first place, Senator Davis herself - and I heard her - said the big issue wasn't a 20 week ban. It was that unreasonable and unnecessary requirements were being placed on facilities and doctors who perform abortions in order to drive them out of business and deny women their Constitutional rights. That's what the fight was about. That's what all those people at the capital protested about - the loss of rightful access to abortions. Honestly I think the Republicans put the 20 week part in and made sure it stayed linked to the rest of it just so they could write articles like this after the fact. And in the second place, no one is for a late term abortion EXCEPT in the case where a mother's life or health is threatened AND/OR the fetus is grossly malformed. The 1% of abortions that are performed after 16 weeks currently are of this type. Funny you don't see a word about it in articles like this.

adaughetee
adaughetee

Mollie, as a Texas woman I stood with Wendy against a law that wasn't about restricting late-term abortions, but about denying a woman access to an abortion at any point in her pregnancy. Yes, that includes all abortions before 20 weeks too. Wendy didn't think it was right to pass a law that would close all but five of the state's abortion clinics. I agree with her. 

If you want to make a counterpoint to Wendy Davis, try not to compare apples to oranges. I assume the reason you didn't address the real issue is because the numbers didn't support your opinion.

catman442
catman442

Oh, because a woman says it, it's supposed to reflect the view of women everywhere. No, this is just one woman with a right wing agenda.

JamesLouloudes
JamesLouloudes

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway no one cares and no one believes your story

D'AnnBishop
D'AnnBishop

Perhaps the better question would have been how many people supported the crazy restrictions on abortion clinics, because that IS where most people agree with Wendy Davis. 

StarDestroyer
StarDestroyer

"Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a columnist for Christianity Today and contributor to GetReligion.org." BIG SURPRISE! Go back to your cave and pump out some chuds, Mollie. The rest of us will decide what's best for ourselves.

claudine.jacques
claudine.jacques

Obviously this woman has NO clue about why women have late-term abortions. Instead of re-hashing her sexist, misogynistic blather perhaps she should try educate herself about WHY women have late-term abortions.

She would find out interesting things. Such as: those late-term abortions are overwhelmingly those of WANTED pregnancies who have gone awfully wrong. Women like Savita Halappanavar would die every day if late-term abortions weren't available and legal since, even late in the game, there's always the risk that suddenly a pregnancy threatens a woman's life.

I would also LOVE for this woman to be forced to carry to term a non-viable pregnancy. Finding out at 21-22 weeks that your fetus has no brain, or a major defect incompatible with life. AND finding out that you'll be forced to carry to term this pregnancy for 3-4 more months, totally pointlessly since the only outcome will be needless sufferings and the death of the child after birth.

The media seriously needs to stop misinforming the public about late-term abortions, because late-term abortion bans kill women. Sooner or later women will find out about this fact the hard way and will be pissed.

Also: I suppose it's ONLY late-term abortion this anti-choice author is against, right? RIGHT???? There are no attempts whatsoever to ban abortions after 6 weeks, RIGHT??? No attempts to outlaw mifepristone and, heck, even birth control, RIGHT? No attempt to outlaw abortions whatsoever, at ANY stage, at all, RIGHT??? No silly laws micro-managing doctors' practices when it comes to women's healthcare, right?

The hypocrisy is astounding.

RethinkThePink1
RethinkThePink1

It's really immaterial what polls say. 1/3 of all women will abort in their lifetimes - many of them are women who say they "would never ever have an abortion."

Also, it's none of your business, Christianity aside. 3/4 of abortion-seeking women are religiously affliliated.

So, basically, tune in to real life. It's always somewhat different than magazine columnists experience.

mbtexas
mbtexas

If you twist the question, polls will tell you anything.  Almost everyone in the US will state they would like to get rid of abortion.  HOWEVER, this single question does not show the majority of Americans are also against politicians pushing their religious beliefs down our throats at the expense of women's health.  Current GOP fanatic efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and minimize abortion through legislation that also drastically cuts other women's health options reflect a scorched earth approach to the abortion issue. There would be an overwhelming majority for any effort to minimize abortion by improving birth control, education, and other women's health programs.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

This is because polls reveal what every single person in America is thinking.  Just ask President Romney.

BrandiWitman
BrandiWitman

It doesn't matter want the majority of Americans want. We're not a Democracy.

AnandHoltham-Keathley
AnandHoltham-Keathley

How sad. Most people do not understand that when people get late-term abortions it happens because the life of the mother is at risk. Frequently the fetus is already dead. The necrotic, (dead) tissue can poison the mother and cause a horribly painful death. All the time the mother is usually blaming herself. It is a sad, private tragedy. Or it was. Now it is a public witch hunt. It is just a shame when people get to the point of being so focused on ideology that they cause needless suffering.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

If you want to defer control of your body to a bunch of GOTP politicians who otherwise couldn't care less about you, go right ahead.  I will not.  Your religion is neither needed nor wanted in my uterus.

Perhaps you should spend some time in the delivery room when a baby with fetal anomalies is born, so you can note and rejoice in the suffering of everyone concerned.

kjjall777
kjjall777

Texas women have spoken out with their votes which show that abortion after 20 weeks is not acceptable! Most Texas women do not agree with Wendy. We haven't been as vocal about it, but we will! Don't mess with Texas women!

NWI
NWI

I thought her objective was to give women rather than government control over reproductive decisions.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

Except that this is about abortion, period, not late term abortion. You're moving the goalpost, but I suppose it's easier to score points that way.

HillCountryLady
HillCountryLady

I am a woman and a mother and am personally opposed to late-term abortion. But I am also pro-choice: it is up to every woman to make this very personal decision. 

The issue in Texas is not late-term abortion, it is the attempt by the Republican majority to close down every clinic that can perform abortions. Coincidentally I am sure, Rick Perry's sister has a company which equips clinics so maybe Perry will in fact ensure some clinics remain open as there is a financial reward for the Perry family.

The Republican majority also restricts the availability of sex education in schools, birth control and the morning-after pill to ensure abortions are necessary. 

What do they intend to do with all these unwanted babies who grow up frequently neglected and/or abused? The Republican majority (and Rick Perry with his delusions that he will be President despite his low IQ) have cut all funding to help women raise the unwanted babies they will be forced to give birth to.

Unnoticed by the general public (but not Wendy Davis) is the fact that Rick Perry vetoed a bill to ensure equal pay for equal work. Of course, everything Rick Perry does has to personally affect him and as his wife has never worked (well, he hasn't done anything but be a government employee for his whole career..), he obviously thinks the little women need to be kept in their place.

The Texas legislature is wasting taxpayer money pretending they are the President AND the Supreme Court. Their arrogance is hubris and will only succeed in awakening the sleeping Democratic majority in Texas and bring about their downfall. Gerrymandering can't do everything.


drito
drito

You sound like an idiot using that quote out of context. There's really no point in arguing with a dumbass like yourself.

william.mchale
william.mchale

@EleanorRigby In so far as women are autonomous beings making choices for themselves, I entirely agree that they should be allowed to do with their own bodies as they choose.  The problem is that once a woman is pregnant, it is not simply a question of a woman's autonomy.  

Those who argue for abortion, especially late term abortion essentially have to deny the reality that there is no moral difference between infanticide and abortion.

Lets follow the following chain of logic.  "I am not ready to be a mother,  I am unable to care for a child".  Now, for proponents of late term abortion, if the child is 30 weeks from conception, she can kill it if it hasn't been born, but she will be guilty of murder for doing the same thing to a baby 30 weeks from conception that has been born.  

EleanorRigby
EleanorRigby

@MuricanBob Senator Wendy Davis (D-TX), who stood for approx 11 hours to filibuster the vote to restrict availability of abortions.

collioure
collioure

@pippi

"Our bodies, our choice. Simple as that."

Not quite.  At some point the matter becomes an interest of the state. Around the world it seems a consensus is developing to make that point in the second trimester. 

And didn't Roe v Wade make the same distinction?

collioure
collioure

@AnandHoltham-Keathley 

Well, you're just misinformed.  Late term abortions are still permitted for certain medical conditions.  They just aren't elective any longer in a number of states.

MartinHarvey
MartinHarvey

@NWI Shhhh.... Don't speak rationally too loud. It might confuse a lot of religious folks.

DavidLeeKoontz
DavidLeeKoontz

@HillCountryLady Not really, lady.  FACT is, despite what your god and savior Barack Obama told you, the SCOTUS and President was NEVER intended or supposed to have that kind of authority.  The rights to determine when and how abortions are received was indeed left up to the states in Roe v. Wade.  Decisions can't be made on assumptions of purpose, but merely facts themselves.

Oh, and as a Texan, I can assure you that your master BHO has lied to you.  There is no "sleeping majority" of Democrats in Texas.  In fact, a fair amount of the registered Democrats are Blue Dogs who vote Republican straight-ticket, except for local elections... old fogies who can't let the past of the Republican party being the party of Lincoln be put to rest.

So, nice try... but if gerrymandering can't do everything, your lies can do even less.

MaryMitch
MaryMitch

@HillCountryLady Thank you! The real issue has been overlooked. Perry and the anti-choice crowd want to close all the clinics, relegating desperate women to back alleys once again.

Fed_Up1
Fed_Up1

@william.mchale @EleanorRigby Wrong. For the "proponents of late term abortion", the reasoning is "I should not have to risk dying in order to stay pregnant." NO ONE gets late term abortions for the fun of it. DO STOP lying about what women do, & why women do it.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@collioure@pippi The state takes no interest in anything that it can't tax.  I've always objected to the notion that a person can be tried for murder for the death of a fetus.

By that reasoning, God should long ago have been executed for murder since MOST abortions are due to natural causes (we call them miscarriages because calling God an abortionist doesn't fly with the mentally retarded bible-thumping crowd such as the author of this article).

The matter is simple and straight-forward, though, in legally defining "life".  Once it is viable on its own, if one life is not endangering another, it can live.  If it is endangering the life of another it can't.  It's called "standing your ground" and should be left up to the person who's endangered whether or not to pull the trigger.

For non-viable fetuses it's a choice the person should make.  Its their body and they should decide if they want the fetus to develop to term.  For viable fetuses, if they endanger the life of the mother, the mother should decide if it's worth the risk.  If it's a viable fetus and the mother is NOT in danger, it should not be her choice.  It's a touch too late for that.

This is how a logical, rational, reasonable society would approach the issue.  Viability on its own should be the hallmark of when "life" begins.  By the "logic" used by many today, if one were to say that a blastocyte was "life", then one can turn in a research paper with a title and eighteen hundred pages of blank paper and call it a thesis and expect full credit.

Finally, if abortions were easy to get, had no roadblocks, had no restrictions as long as the fetus was not viable, there'd be little NEED for late term abortions. But the brain-dead religious types say "Oh, gosh, we have to make it harder to get an abortion" then bitch, piss and moan when women who have been trying for MONTHS to find a place that will end the pregnancy of a non-viable fetus have to get it done on a viable one (at least with extreme medical intervention - and cost).  And then these self-same mental rejects start cutting medical benefits to the disadvantaged, meaning their little defective bundle of joy will be a fiscal drain on them their entire lives.

Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty - Those are allegedly Christian traits.  There is none of these things in what they do to women.

RethinkThePink1
RethinkThePink1

@collioure @AnandHoltham-Keathley - No, they are not. Only for "life of the mother." They are not permitted under this bill for conditions that result in live  births of infants who will die within minutes or hours.

kjjall777
kjjall777

Like I said, the votes speak for themselves. Its not about bullying or arguing its about voting.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@DavidLeeKoontz @HillCountryLady  

Dude, you might want to get out your Constitution and read the 14th Amendment.  Read for comprehension.

And if it ever happens to you, feel free to have the courage of your convictions.  If it happens to anyone else, feel free to mind your own business.  Thanks, anyway, but your pointy nose is not needed.

 

Tobaustin
Tobaustin

@MaryMitch @HillCountryLady I truly question the legitimacy of the whole back alley thing.  I am curious.  When do you lovely ladies feel the appropriate time is for that little helpless human to have a soul?  When you feel like it?  I mean is it 3mos, 5 mos, 9 mos, along or is it when they draw breath for the first time, THAT's when they are allowed to have a soul.  You know, I see it all of the time.  It's a baby to you if you want it to be there.  The little person has a name and a nursery.  But, God forbid this person "became" at the wrong time, it's now a blog of tissue and a fetus and needs to be torn apart and flushed away.  Sick!  And to think some woman would hide in an alley and shove a coat hanger into her vagina because she doesn't want a baby, is even more sick and she needs psychological help because there is something very wrong with her! 

collioure
collioure

@RethinkThePink1@collioure@AnandHoltham-Keathley 

"Life of the mother" is the most common medical condition. I can't find a good reference on the details of this bill. So, if you have one, I'd like to look at it

I am afraid that in the US the vocal pro-abortion (yes, I wrote pro-abortion, not pro-choice) minority is getting its comeuppance for many years when it abused the "life of the mother" reason to justify elective late-term abortions. I have no use for the violent anti-choicers either.

BTW this is not a subject I like to discuss. Just too many extremists on both sides of the issue and too influential on national politics as well.

Here where I live in France the limit is 4 months, and the subject is never discussed. I like it that way.

Tobaustin
Tobaustin

@HillCountryLady @Tobaustin @MaryMitch Acutally I grew up in that time.  Nice rebuttal though.  I do get lots of compliments on how young I look.  ;)  You didn't answer my question.  So when do those people get to be people?  Since you have deemed yourself in charge of all of that?  They only get a soul if you want them to have one, is that it?  They are only human when you decide you want a baby?  Science has disproved your b.s. blob of tissue theory a LONG time ago.  But, hey justify your stand all you want.  It'll never change the facts.  Sex makes babies.  You don't want a baby, don't get pregnant!  It's pretty simple. I am leaving out rape victims, which accounts for a very small portion of abortions performed.  I was one of those so called "Un-planned" pregnancies.  I have turned into a productive member of society.  My mother also had a pregnancy that she was told to abort over her health and in both cases, she stood for our lives.  And both me and my brother are both healthy and productive members of society and she never had a problem resulting from having gone through that "risky" pregnancy.  If it had been up to you, we'd both be dead!  Glad my mom saw value in human life.  I bet you are a real animal rights activist, too.  I am curious also, if they put down animals in the same way they abort babies, how would you feel about that?  Animals get more humane deaths than unwanted babies do.  Sick sick sick.