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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Who's Really Extreme On Abortion?

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Posted at RightWisconsin.

Wendy Davis is the new heroine of Democrats, the feminist left, and thus, predictably the media. 
 
Davis famously lead a filibuster against a ban on later term abortions in the Texas state senate, and instantly became a sensation. Even the president took time out to tweet his support. The left senses a winning issue here and Democrats are already reviving the "war on Women" meme, which we can see playing out here in Wisconsin.
 
But what was Davis defending? What was the cause that has rallied the left/media? Let’s be clear on this. Davis was championing the legalization of abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy, a point at which the so-called "productive of conception" looks remarkably like a baby to the vast majority of Americans. (It is not a coincidence that pro-abortionists object viscerally to pictures like this of what a 20 week old unborn child looks like.)
 
The latest push for new restrictions and safety rules comes in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell House of Horrors Trial, which – fortunately for Senator Davis and her supporters – got scant media coverage. But polls suggest that even before that trial, the public was strongly opposed to both second and third trimester abortions. This includes many who would label themselves as pro-choice because they support earlier legal abortions.
 
Nate Silver notes that recent polls show that most voters, including women, favor a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks. But when the question is put in terms of trimesters, the results are much more dramatic:
 
Few other polls have asked specifically about a 20-week threshold, but Gallup has done surveys gauging support for abortion by trimester and has found largely the same result since it began asking the question in 1996: A clear majority of Americans favor legal abortion in the first trimester, but that support drops precipitously in the second trimester and even further in the third.
 
 
 

The most recent Gallup survey in December 2012, found that while 61 percent of respondents said that abortion should be legal in the first three months of pregnancy, just 27 percent thought it should be legal in the second three months and a mere 14 percent of respondents favored legal abortion in the last three months of a pregnancy.
 
The numbers suggest that the left is picking precisely the wrong battle to fight on abortion.
 
A sidenote: The American poll numbers reflect a nearly global consensus on late term abortion.. Despite the usual assumption that the Europeans are far more liberal on such issues, for example, most European countries make a sharp distinction between early and late abortions, with countries like France and Germany drawing a line at 12 weeks.
 
Check out this summary here:
 
Europe's abortion rules
 

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