Most Americans Don’t #StandWithWendy After All

Across the board, Americans oppose late-term abortions.

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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.

112 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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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

EleanorRigby
EleanorRigby

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

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?

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?

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.

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.