On yesterday’s “Faith and Freedom” radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver rejoiced that recent polls show that the majority of Americans now consider themselves to be “pro-life” and encouraged politicians to “get on the winning side of history” and start passing legislation to outlaw abortion.
What anti-abortion activists always fail to mention whenever they trumpet this claim is that polls consistently show that the vast majority of Americans believe abortion should remain legal and available, with generally no more than 20% of the population wanting it to be outlawed entirely.
But for Barber and Staver, these polls demonstrate that legal abortion will soon become a thing of the past:
Barber: Today, fifty percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-life and this is the first time in the forty years since Roe v Wade that a majority of Americans have joined in the defense of women and children. In the past twenty years, opinions have shifted; in 1995, 56% of Americans identified themselves as pro-choice but now that number is less than 42%. That’s a 15% swing, Mat, in thirteen years. That’s huge.
Staver: And for politicians who want to run from the issue of life – I don’t think they ought to guide their decisions by polls, but if they did, this would be one that would say they need to stand on the side of life.
Barber: Yeah, get rid of that pro-choice albatross that you have around your neck. Get on the winning side of history and that is the pro-life side.
Since Barber and Staver are so impressed with shifts in poll numbers on this issue, we assume that they will both soon drop their opposition to gay marriage since, back in 1996, a whopping 65% of Americans opposed it while only 27% supported it. Today, recent polls show that 55% of Americans now support marriage equality, while opposition has dropped into the low 40s.
That is a twenty-five point swing and, as Barber said, “that’s huge.”
So simply based on the polling advice of Barber and Staver, if politicians want to “get on the winning side of history,” they probably ought to make their public support for marriage equality loud and clear.