Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Columnist Connie Schultz is dealing with a stacked deck

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz has a recent column which discusses abortion and how religious people view abortion. Her column also features comments by Rev. Carlton Veazey, who is in charge of the Religious Coalition of Reproductive Choice.

In the column, both Veazey and Schultz attempt to persuade readers that religious people support Roe v. Wade and abortion rights. Veazey does this with nothing but ignorant assertions while Schultz tries to back up her position with results from a survey.

Her statistics come from this survey from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. After reviewing this survey I got a much different impression about how religious people view abortion than Schultz presents.

First, the survey misleadingly describes Roe v. Wade as establishing "a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy." We all know Roe v. Wade did a lot more than that.

Second, Schultze says that, "Even among evangelicals who were polled, fewer than half favored overturning Roe v. Wade." Schultze fails to note that fewer than half of evangelicals also favored keeping Pew's faultily-defined version of Roe. It was a 48% to 48% tie. However, of the evangelicals that were "high commitment," 60% favored dumping Roe. The majority of white Catholics with "high commitment" were also in favor of overturning Roe.

Third, the study clearly shows that the more people attend church, the more likely the are to be opposed to abortion. For individuals that attend church "weekly or more," 18% thought abortion should never be permitted while 43% thought that abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or the mother's life. For individuals who attend church "sometimes," these percentages drop to 5% and 30%, respectively. For those who attend church "seldom or never," they drop even further to 2% and 16%, respectively.

What I think the survey shows most of all is that the average American, churchgoer or not, doesn't have a clue to what Roe v. Wade did and they don't know what overturning Roe v. Wade will do. How else can you explain that 63% of survey respondents want some kind of change in abortion law yet 65% oppose overturning the Supreme Court ruling that prevents changing the level of abortion's legality?

My guess is that a large percentage of Americans, many of whom were persuaded by a slanted media and/or deceptive pro-choice groups, believe that Roe v. Wade only allows abortion in the first 3 months of pregnancy and if Roe v. Wade is overturned then abortion will be illegal throughout America.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the evangelical faithful would be better informed on Roe if their leaders talked more about abortion and less about nonsense like global warming.

    But why worry? We have "purpose," don't we?