The latest Gallup poll shows more Americans identify as “pro life” than “pro choice.”
Disappointing on the surface, and not just because of the superficial results. It’s disappointing because Gallup and other polling outfits continue to use generalized language that misconstrues what the American people are thinking.
Personally, I’m both “pro life” and “pro choice.” “Pro life” insofar as I’m into the idea that life is good. I’m also not “pro abortion” — I don’t particularly think abortion is awesome. However, I’m “pro choice” insofar as I believe abortion should be legal and accessible to women who choose to have the procedure.
So if Gallup called me, how would I respond to that top-line question? I would probably reject the premise.
Meanwhile, if you dig down into the rest of the poll, you’ll see this, as paraphrased by Adam Serwer:
So a large majority—77 percent—of Americans support abortion being legal in all or “certain circumstances,” and just 20 percent of Americans are actually “pro-life” in the sense that opponents of legalized abortion understand the term.
Now if we can get these polling companies to update the specificity of their language, we might see some different results. Maybe they can do the same thing with the misleading “liberal” versus “conservative” polls.