An Analysis of the Demographics of Opinions on Abortion

I’ve noticed that I have a lot of friends with wildly ranging opinions on Abortion. This made me curious about the statistics. Here are some observations that I found interesting about the numbers:

  • More men in the United States are pro-choice than pro-life [1]
    • 46% pro-life, 48% pro-choice
  • All women over 30 years old are more pro-life than pro-choice [1]
    • Age 30 to 49 – 51% pro-life, 44% pro-choice
    • Age 50 to 64 – 54% pro-life, 41% pro-choice
    • Age 65+ – 56% pro-life, 36% pro-choice
  • Only women aged 18 to 29 are pro-choice
    • Age 18 to 29 – 33% pro-life, 62% pro-choice
  • From 1995 until 2019 more people have become pro-life [2]
    • 1995 – 33% pro-life, 56% pro-choice
    • 2019 – 49% pro-life, 46% pro-choice
  • Since 1995, women are the ones who have changed their opinions most [3]
    • 1995 – 41% pro-life, 56% pro-choice
    • 2019 – 51% pro-life, 43% pro-choice
  • Since 1995, men’s opinions spiked on pro-life in 2009 and again in 2001, but have leveled back off.
    • 1995 – 41% pro-life, 50% pro-choice
    • 2009 – 54% pro-life, 39% pro-choice
    • 2016 – 46% pro-life, 46% pro-choice
    • 2019 – 46% pro-life, 48% pro-choice
  • Men and women’s opinions seemed to somewhat correlate up until about 2011 or 2012
    • You can see a similar shape to the curves if you look closely up until 2011 or 2012
    • After 2011 or 2012, they seem to have no correlation whatsoever (very weird to me)
  • People who make under $40K or have no college are way more likely to be pro-life [1]
    • Earn under $40K/year – 59% pro-life, 34% pro-choice
    • No college 58% pro-life, 35% pro-choice

This data over time is really interesting to me. Here are some observations:

  • People’s opinions swing wildly depending on the year
  • The same 18 year men and women, who were pro-choice in 1995, have become become way more pro-life at age 43 in 2019
  • Coincidentally, Gallup publishes easy to access numbers back to 1995 when I first became politically aware
    • 1996 was the first year I could vote
    • I feel like I was lied to about what it means to be pro-choice or pro-life
    • I feel like propaganda really had an effect on my opinion in 1995

I do understand why pro-life people are mad about liberals wanting to fund abortion clinics in poor neighborhoods. It’s so easy to make the connection to Eugenics, Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood, given that poor people are overwhelmingly pro-life. Also, note that Democrats and liberals are overwhelmingly pro-choice (29% pro-life, 68% pro-choice). Seems impossible since they are the party of the poor right?

It’s pretty obvious to me that Third Way Democrats like Clinton in 1995 (coincidentally, when I became politically active) traded workers issues for social issues like abortion because the Unions couldn’t support the Democratic party anymore. The left has purposefully turned abortion into a wedge issue since they don’t have any financial or workers issues to leverage now days.

Like most things, my opinion is super nuanced on abortion. I’ll leave you with a thought experiment:

Imagine a family with a husband, a wife, and three little children aged 3, 5 and 7. The father is an engineer, the wife a nurse. They are a loving and happy family, until one day the wife goes to work for night shift. On her way to the building, tragically, she is attacked, and raped. She becomes pregnant, and both the husband and wife are horrified when they are in the bathroom doing the test. They cry together and hug.

Eight months later, the husband wakes up when the 5 year old comes in the room crying because of a bad dream. The father notices her belly rubbing up against him and can’t stop thinking about as he tries to calm his child down. The wife wakes up, and the five year old asks – Mommy, I thought you said that we weren’t going to have anymore brothers or sisters because daddy “was fixed?” The mother cringes with disgust, takes a breath to deal with the knowledge that was was violated, and struggles to explain it to her 5 year old daughter.

Eight years later, they are divorced, and the children have a lot of trouble accepting their brother from the rape. When the older kids are mad, they say things like “you’re going to grow up to be a rapist like your father!” – or “you’re the reason that our mom and dad got divorced!”

Or imagine that eight months later, the same family is happy with three children. The mother and father never tell the kids. They take it to their grave. Roe versus Wade was primarily decided based on privacy. Nobody has a right to know what happened or why the woman got an abortion.

[1]: https://news.gallup.com/poll/244709/pro-choice-pro-life-2018-demographic-tables.aspx

[2]: https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

[3]: https://news.gallup.com/poll/245618/abortion-trends-gender.aspx

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