There is yet another poll out showing that  many Americans would look favorably on a late-term abortion ban. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds: “In the new survey of 1,000 Americans, 44% said they would support a ban in their state on abortions 20 weeks postfertilization, compared with 37% who would oppose such a ban.”

The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Contrary to the contention that such bans constitute a “war on women,” the poll also found:

More women than men supported the state bans, 46% to 40%. Even college-educated women, a group that strongly supports abortion rights, tipped toward favoring the 20-week restrictions. Among that group, 62% said abortion should be legal, but only 40% opposed the 20-week bans, compared with 44% who backed a ban at 20
weeks.

(You have to love the “even college-educated” part. Isn’t college supposed to make one more analytical and capable of rational differentiation? Maybe these Americans are keenly aware of the latest technological advances that allow us to see and treat babies in the womb.)

What is even more interesting is that regular Americans, unlike politicians, are able to address abortion with some nuance. “Overall, 28% of respondents say abortion should be legal under all circumstances, while 21% say it should be legal most of the time. The poll found that 11% say abortion should be illegal without exceptions, while 37% say it should be illegal with some exceptions.” That is a huge breakthrough for pro-life advocates. They have been working assiduously to rebut the attitude of radical abortion defenders who would prefer we think any abortion restriction is akin to enslavement of women. Once Americans begin to deal with abortions on a case-by-case basis and wrestle with the moral implications, the inviolate message that abortion is solely a woman’s choice begins to crumble.

Almost as a throwaway, the report notes in the 13th paragraph: “The number of abortions nationally appears to have leveled off at about 1.2  million a year after declining annually through the 1990s and most of the 2000s. Of those, about 1.5% occur after the 20-week postfertilization mark, according to various estimates.” Yes, those figures are per year for about 20 years. And that works out to 14,400 post-20 week abortions every year. Dr. Gosnell is certainly not alone in contributing to the late-term abortion mill.

The left likes to push “moderation” and “compromise” but generally not on social issues. One of the great tragedies of the Supreme Court’s domination of this issue is that it impeded discussion of compromise and generally made legislation with firm limits on abortion impossible. That long-overdue debate is finally under way.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.