PLI Poll in Des Moines Register Op-Ed

Posted on April 24, 2017

Myths like ‘life begins at conception’ don’t belong in the law

[In an op-ed about state legislation in Iowa…]

Anti-abortion lawmakers may have won election on that platform in their districts, but they don’t speak for the majority, as pollster J. Ann Selzer found in a pre-election sample of 1,003 likely voters across America last August. Selzer, who also conducts the Register’s Iowa Poll, polled people about abortion for the Public Leadership Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.

She found that 69 percent of respondents did not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. The results were even more significant when the 28 percent of respondents who said they were most opposed to abortion were questioned further. Of those, 60 percent thought women seeking abortions should be able to opt out of getting a sonogram or being forced to wait, and 56 percent found “very convincing” a statement reading, in part, “Every person’s situation is different, and we should respect that this decision is (a woman’s) to make, with her family and in accordance with her faith.”

Most significantly, only 19 percent of the group that was most opposed to abortion remained that way after hearing the follow-up questions; 30 percent ended up opposing any restrictions.

While it’s a relief that the amendment to the abortion bill was pulled, the original bill banning abortions after 20 weeks was broadened. Now even pregnancies resulting from rape and incest or with fetal anomalies could not be terminated.

Lawmakers should stop playing God and let doctors and patients make medical decisions for themselves.