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State Views: Poll finds Wisconsinites strongly pro-life

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Barbara L. Lyons
November 12, 2013

Wisconsin Right to Life recently announced the results of a statewide poll, which found that Wisconsin residents remain strongly pro-life. This poll represents a substantial starting point toward countering the “War on Women” theme perpetuated by proponents of abortion. It also assures the public that legislative measures promoted by Wisconsin Right to Life are consistent with the beliefs of a majority of Wisconsin residents.

The poll, commissioned by Wisconsin Right to Life and conducted by a nationally respected polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, explored voter sentiment on questions related to abortion in more detail than a Marquette University poll released in October.

The key findings are that a majority of likely Wisconsin voters holds pro-life views and a plurality disagrees that elected officials are waging a “War on Women.”

The poll asked: “When should abortion be legal? Fifty-five percent of those surveyed expressed a pro-life view, while 45 percent expressed a pro-choice view.

Is there a “War on Women”? Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said their “personal view is that politicians are enacting common-sense laws meant to protect innocent children and increase safety standards in abortion clinics to ensure women’s safety.”

Forty-four percent said their “personal view is that politicians are waging a  ‘War on Women’ and not respecting a woman’s right to privacy and to choose what is best for her body.”

Likely voters were asked about Sonya’s Law, which the Legislature enacted earlier this year. Sonya’s Law requires that women considering abortions receive information based on an ultrasound procedure and requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

Forty-seven percent favored “a law requiring that a woman seeking an abortion have an ultrasound with the option of a free one to see her baby’s development,” with 46 percent opposed. The Marquette poll found that 56 percent of respondents opposed the ultrasound provision but did not inform respondents as to the purpose of the provision.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents favored “a law to protect women’s health which requires that anyone performing an abortion have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic,” with 31 percent opposed. The Marquette poll did not address this issue.

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents favor “a law that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks based on the unborn child’s ability to feel pain at that age.” Forty percent are opposed.

The poll was conducted on Nov. 5 and 6 with 500 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percent. Respondents were 52 percent female and 48 percent male. Respondents were 37 percent Republican or leaning Republican, 40 percent Democrat or leaning Democrat, and 22 percent independent/other (2 percent declined to identify).

Barbara L. Lyons is executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life; www.wrtl.org/blog; email her at BLyons@WRTL.org.



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