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Americans are Mislabeling Themselves on Abortion

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

While Cecile Richards and her pro-choice allies in the abortion industry may be gleefully reading over the Gallup poll released on Friday on abortion views in this country, once they dig a little deeper, it’s obvious that they should hold off on opening the champagne bottles.

Headlines are screaming that Americans who hold they are pro-choice now outnumber those who say they are pro-life, 50 percent to 44 percent respectively. The media is reporting that this is the first time since 2008 that more Americans have identified themselves as pro-choice than pro-life.

But there’s more to it.

Looking closer at the numbers, 19 percent of respondents said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances and 36 percent said it should be legal in only a few circumstances. Those two groups make up 55 percent of respondents, while people who said abortion should be legal in all and most circumstances amount to 42 percent. These numbers are actually an improvement for the pro-life side from a June 2013 Huffington Post poll that painted a similar picture: 47 percent of respondents said abortion should either always be illegal or generally illegal, except in certain circumstances and 42 percent said abortion should always be legal or generally legal with some restrictions.

Americans are misidentifying themselves when it comes to the matter of abortion since a majority clearly support significant restrictions on abortion. That same Huffington Post poll found that 59 percent of Americans either strongly or somewhat favor a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Other polls yield similar results.

Students for Life of America hosted a national display this past semester that polled students on when human rights should begin. Students placed a Post-It Note to indicate what they thought on a board with pictures of preborn children from conception all the way through the ninth month of pregnancy. At all of the 27 universities we went to, students overwhelmingly put their Post-It Notes at the top of the board within the first trimester of pregnancy, the majority at conception.

This is the generation that has grown up with the technology to see inside the womb and easily see the life human life that is there. It’s undeniable. Our organization has grown by leaps and bounds since our inception nine years ago, when we had less than 200 pro-life groups nationally. We now have almost 900. Planned Parenthood, an organization that has been in existence for nearly a century, gets more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars annually, and pays students to lead campus groups, has been stuck at around 200 college groups nationally.

We see students misidentifying themselves all the time on campuses across the country, which is why we no longer ask them if they are pro-life or pro-choice. They don't know what the labels mean. Instead we ask if they support legal abortion or how long into a pregnancy they would tolerate abortion.

Don’t get caught up with the labels. With science and technology on our side, this generation will continue to become less and less tolerant of abortion-on-demand. It’s only a matter of time.

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