Abortion Rally Doesn't Reflect Majority View, Says Bishops' Aide

Cites a Poll That Finds Only 13% Favor Procedure-on-Demand

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WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Despite Sunday's high-profile pro-abortion rally in the nation's capital, opinion polls indicate that most Americans reject abortion-on-demand, says a U.S. bishops' conference aide.



"Abortion activists were marching out of step with the American people last weekend," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, spokeswoman for the bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

Ruse referred to a Zogby International poll released the week of the March for Women's Lives showing that only 13% of Americans believe abortion should be completely unrestricted -- the position taken by organizers of the march.

By contrast, 56% believe abortion should never be legal or should be legal only where the life of the mother is endangered or where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Abortion supporters themselves acknowledge that these circumstances account for only about 2% of abortions.

"The Zogby poll shows young people are even more pro-life than the general population," Ruse noted. Sixty percent of 18- to 29-year-olds believe abortion should never be legal or should be legal only in cases of life endangerment or rape or incest.

The poll also shows that more Americans identify themselves as "pro-life" than "pro-choice": 49% to 45%. "This is a seismic change in the way Americans poll on abortion," said Ruse. "Ten years ago the 'pro-choice' answer dominated Gallup polls by a margin of 56% 'pro-choice' to 33% 'pro-life.'"

"Women poll more 'pro-life' than 'pro-choice' by a margin of 48% to 46% in the recent Zogby poll," said Ruse.

"Not only do more Americans self-identify as pro-life -- they vote that way," Ruse said. "A study by the Gallup organization observes that in recent elections the abortion issue 'has been an advantage' to candidates taking the pro-life position."