New Third Way Abortion Poll
Washington, DC – A poll released today by Third Way found that by a margin of 69-28%, respondents agreed that “we can find common ground to reduce the need for abortion while still protecting a woman’s right to have one.” In an accompanying memo, Third Way noted the need for a new frame for abortion rights supporters hoping to reach the vast and largely sympathetic middle and identified the message above as the new common ground frame.
“There are 1.3 million abortions every year. We can find a way to reduce abortions without bans or throwing women or doctors in jail,” said Rachel Laser, the memo’s co-author and Director of the Third Way Culture Program. “The House passage of the “Reducing the Need for Abortion Initiative” is a vital step forward, and we are proud to have been a part of the process.”
The Third Way survey, which was conducted by pollster Diane Feldman of the Feldman Group Inc., revealed what Laser called the “significant moral complexity of abortion for the vast and largely sympathetic middle.” For example, the super-majority of respondents (72-25%) said they believe that the decision to have an abortion should be left up to a woman, her family and her doctor, but by a margin of 69-26%, respondents said that abortion is “the taking of human life.” And among those who identified themselves as pro-choice, 69% indicated that they are “concerned that too many women have abortions without thinking about the moral consequences.”
Earlier this year, the House approved much of the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act (HR 1074), a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. The legislation passed in large part in the form of the “Reducing the Need for Abortion Initiative” in the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. The legislation, which Third Way played a key role in crafting and pushing through Congress, would reduce abortions through a comprehensive set of strategies that both prevent unintended pregnancies, such as programs to prevent teen pregnancy and to expand Medicaid eligibility for family planning services, and support pregnant women, such as domestic violence and adoption programs.
 The nationwide survey, conducted July 10-15, 2007, was of 1,003 general election voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.
Contact: Matt Bennett (202) 775-3768 x212