WASHINGTON, DC (May 15, 2009) - The Republican Majority for Choice Executive Director, Kellie Ferguson, and co-Chairs Candy Straight and Susan Bevan, issued the following statement on the newly released Gallup Poll regarding reproductive choice:
"The polling released today by Gallup confirms what common sense Republicans have been saying for decades -- Americans believe abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Naming the report "More Americans "Pro-Life" Than "Pro-Choice" for First Time" leaves out vital points and further confuses the debate. Simply using the labels pro-choice and pro-life is somewhat misleading and does not accurately portray voters' beliefs on government policy that affects reproductive choice.
Polling consistently shows that being personally pro-life and wanting so-called "pro-life government policies" are two very different things. National polling conducted last year confirmed that 66% of self-identified pro-life Republicans felt that while they personally would never choose to have an abortion, they believe the decision should be left to the woman - not the government.
What this poll confirms is that regardless of the labels, 77% of the country believes that abortion should remain legal. Yes, voters support restrictions to varying degrees; but they also, by vast majorities, support keeping abortion safe, legal and rare. The fact that this poll confirmed that only 23% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal supports the argument that the GOP Platform calling for a Constitutional amendment banning all abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, is not only off the mark but far out of the mainstream.
No matter what label voters choose, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there are active steps both sides can take today to lessen the incidence of abortion. Common sense policies such as comprehensive sex education and ensuring access to affordable birth control are initiatives both Parties should embrace as ways to achieve this goal."