Friday, October 2, 2009

The Obama-Effect

It is not just the International Olympic Committee that President Barack Obama is having a hard time convincing these days. A new Pew Research Center Poll released today shows support for legal abortions has dropped precipitously since just last year. The poll joins a handful of others from earlier this year confirming there is a growing shift towards the pro-life perspective, largely exacerbated by Obama’s extremist position on abortion and his unprecedented action to dismantle legal protections for women, children, and families.

A majority of Americans now identify themselves as "Pro-Life." In addition, the number of Americans who favor making it more difficult to obtain an abortion is up six points in just two years.

In 2005, 59% of respondents agreed it would be good to reduce abortions. Today 65% take this view, an increase of six points.

And more than three-quarters--some 76%--continue to favor requiring minors to obtain the permission of a parent before having an abortion. 

The Pew poll also found fewer Americans, and fewer pro-life advocates are willing to compromise on abortion by finding some "middle ground." Indeed, support for finding a middle ground on the abortion issue is down 12 points among conservatives and six percent among all Americans.

Michael New, a political science professor at the University of Alabama, says the trend is very clear in the pro-life direction, as evidenced by the polling results. "This is consistent with other surveys released this spring by groups like Gallup which show that an increasingly higher percentage of Americans are willing to describe themselves as Pro-Life," he said.

All this is very bad news for a president and his administration--having seen his push for dramatic and radical change stymied at every turn. But then, that may well be good news for all of the rest of us.