“Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt Thursday morning celebrated Alabama’s new law banning nearly all abortions, and the Missouri Senate’s overnight passage of a bill banning abortion at 8 weeks, both of which are unconstitutional.
Earhardt opened her segment by attacking “2020 Democrats pouncing on Alabama’s abortion bill,” which is actually now Alabama’s abortion law, and the just-passed Missouri bill. She “asks” her guest if these “signs that the pro-life movement is continuing to grow in our country?”
Her guest was anti-abortion activist Kathryn Glenn Foster, head of Americans United for Life.
What Earhardt did not do is offer a single fact about support for abortion in America.
She did offer some false facts, however, by asking her guest, “Why are the Democrats, why are the media, why are they hitting so hard against these states [passing abortion bans] when this is what the voters want?”
Roughly the same number of Americans support banning abortion as did support the Iraq War through its nadir. Conservative media, prominently including Fox News, consistently props up this alternate universe where banning abortion is popular. The gaslighting never stops. pic.twitter.com/IiKgVloo7q
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) May 16, 2019
Here are a few quick stats.
According to Gallup, 56% of Americans are pro-choice, just 44% are anti-abortion.
That right there seems should cause Fox News to issue a retraction on Earhardt’s claim that “voters want” abortion bans.
But terms like “pro-choice” and so-called “pro-life” don’t do justice to what voters want.
48% of Americans say abortion is “morally wrong,” but just 20% say it should be illegal.
There’s more, too.
Only 18% of Americans say abortion should be illegal in all cases.
29% say legal under any circumstance, and 50% say only under certain circumstances.
As far as Earhardt and Foster’s claims that Americans are increasingly supportive of banning abortion, that too is false.
There is no state in the country where support for banning abortion reaches even 25 percent. (Data for Progress analysis of the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Studies) pic.twitter.com/lrOxU0eNaz
— Data for Progress (@DataProgress) May 15, 2019
Gallup’s polling on abortion spans five decades, back to 1975.
Here’s what folks said back then, two years after Roe v. Wade was decided.
Abortion should be illegal in all circumstances: 22%.
Abortion should be legal under any circumstance: 21%.
Abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances: 54%.
Over the decades and years, all these numbers have remained astonishingly consistent, varying just a few percentage points up and down, year after year.
When Fox News says voters want these bans and when their guest says Americans are increasingly becoming “pro-life,” their words are inaccurate and incorrect. These numbers prove that.