Gallup: Abortion views steady as media ignores Gosnell trial

posted at 12:01 pm on May 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Americans may not be terribly aware of the trial of Kermit Gosnell,  but they are aware of who to blame for their ignorance. Gallup’s latest survey shows that only 25% of the public are following the trial somewhat or very closely, and only 33% of self-identified pro-life adults.  Fifty-five percent of adults aren’t following the case at all.  However, pluralities in both groups believe that the media hasn’t done enough to report on the multiple-murder case in Philadelphia:

One-quarter of Americans say they have followed news of the case either very closely (7%) or somewhat closely (18%), but that is well below the 61% average level of attention Americans have paid to the more than 200 news stories Gallup has measured since 1991. An additional 20% of Americans say they are following Gosnell case “not too closely” while 54% say “not at all.” This makes the Gosnell case one of the least followed news stories Gallup has measured. …

It is not clear from the data whether Americans’ relatively low attention to the Gosnell case reflects a lack of interest in it, or a lack of coverage by the mainstream media. However, nearly half of those following the case, 46%, say the media have not devoted enough coverage to it. That compares with 20% saying the media have devoted too much coverage and 27% saying the right amount.

The strong tilt toward saying there has not been enough coverage as opposed to too much coverage partly reflects the heavy representation of pro-life respondents among those who were asked the question.

Even among the entire sample, those saying that the case hasn’t gotten enough coverage exceeds by more than a 2:1 ratio those who say it’s received too much (21/9).  For those following the case, it’s also more than 2:1 at 46/20.

With the media doing little to shed light on the Gosnell house of horrors, it’s not too surprising that the lack of new data means that views on abortion haven’t changed much:

As Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell awaits the jury verdict in his capital murder trial, Gallup finds 26% of Americans saying abortion should be legal under any circumstances and 20% saying it should be illegal in all circumstances. The majority, 52%, opt for something in between, as has been the case in nearly every Gallup measure of this question since 1975.

Current views on the legality of abortion, based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 2-7, are nearly identical to those from Gallup’s prior measures in December and May 2012. More generally, they are similar to what Gallup has found for most of the past decade, except for a brief period between 2005 and 2006, when the balance of the two absolutist positions tilted more heavily in favor of abortion being legal in all circumstances. …

Although the latest Gallup survey was conducted after much of the testimony in this trial had already been reported in the news, the stability in Americans’ views about the legality of abortion suggests the trial has not swayed public opinion. Part of the reason could be that relatively few Americans are paying attention to the case.

And that might be by design, no? After all, if the news media doesn’t bother to cover it — or only covers it as a media story, rather than report the testimony in detail — why would anyone change their minds about abortion?  Other than the few reporters who have to listen to the testimony in person, of course.

Kathryn Jean Lopez sees a glimmer of hope in the attention the case has received:

But here, we have the opportunity for redemption, too, in the wake of 40 years of euphemisms that led to newborn snips for in the name of “women’s health.” It’s going to be a long haul of investigation and introspection. But it’s our moral and civic duty to quit looking away from the horrific injustice being done to the innocent unborn — and newborns marked for abortion — and women. I give Leroy Carhart credit for at least being forthright with the truth in Live Action’s most recent undercover video, that abortion changes you, and that a late-term abortion means killing a baby.

Kirsten Powers gets it. Marlin Stutzman gets it. Mollie Heminway gets it. Rich Lowry gets it. Robby George and Ramesh, of course, get it. Jonah gets it. The list does, thankfully, go on — but there is a whole lot of awakening yet to happen.

Perhaps that’s what the media fears.


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You’re absolutely right. It’s not about safety. And when pro-life “conservatives” suddenly decide that federal regulation is awesome but only when it comes to abortion clinics, that isn’t about safety either. It’s about crushing an entire industry under the weight of an impossibly heavy regulatory burden. Anyone who thinks that using government regulation to intentionally destroy private business is acceptable is not a conservative no matter what they call themselves.

Armin Tamzarian on May 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

It isn’t “impossible heavy regulatory burden..” It is the same burden that ALL outpatient surgery centers have. Apparently they are able to stay in business, why can’t abortionist?

melle1228 on May 10, 2013 at 4:04 PM

You’re absolutely right. It’s not about safety. And when pro-life “conservatives” suddenly decide that federal regulation is awesome but only when it comes to abortion clinics, that isn’t about safety either. It’s about crushing an entire industry under the weight of an impossibly heavy regulatory burden. Anyone who thinks that using government regulation to intentionally destroy private business is acceptable is not a conservative no matter what they call themselves.

Armin Tamzarian on May 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

I could turn that on you faster than a bootlegger with 50 lb weights in his fenders. The right to KILL CHILDREN is the only right that utilitarian libwits give a greasy brown shit about. And that’s not even enumerated in the constitution! So you’re equating my desire to own a gun, which our founding fathers explicitly sought to preserve my right to do, with a woman’s “right” to infanticide, which they said nothing about one way or the other?! And as I said upthread, I believe abortion should be regulated at the state level, not at the federal level (absent a constitutional amendment anyway, and that’s a whole separate issue).

Weaksauce, man. Weak weak weaksauce.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Swing that cudgel, melle!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM

You are vapid and vacuous actually not a rarity for someone like you. You can’t intelligently discuss Gosnell, abortion, or regulations, because you rely on leftist platitudes and talking points to make your argument. I guess the kool aid tastes too good..

No you’re not pro-choice, ghoul. You’re pro-abortion. I’m pro-choice in as far as I believe it should be up to the states to regulate and not the federales, but I’ve agitated for my home state to make abortion illegal.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Exactly!

melle1228 on May 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

It isn’t “impossible heavy regulatory burden..” It is the same burden that ALL outpatient surgery centers have. Apparently they are able to stay in business, why can’t abortionist?

melle1228 on May 10, 2013 at 4:04 PM

The assertion that standard outpatient clinic inspections is somehow an “impossible heavy regulatory burden” seems to me to be an implicit administration that Kermit Gosnell is far closer to being the rule in re: abortion than these pro-choice pro-infanticide ghouls would be willing to admit.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

This thread is about infanticide and murder, not about gun laws, nor about abortion.

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 3:56 PM

What post are you reading?

Gallup: Abortion views steady as media ignores Gosnell trial

Ed is lamenting the fact that the Gosnell case hasn’t moved the needle on the abortion issue.

But don’t let the facts stand in the way or your opinion…

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

You are vapid and vacuous actually not a rarity for someone like you. You can’t intelligently discuss Gosnell, abortion, or regulations, because you rely on leftist platitudes and talking points to make your argument.

melle1228 on May 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Me: What is the constitutional basis for Obamacare?

Nancy Pe-louse-i: Are you serious? Is that a serious question?

Me: Would you be in favor of prosecuting everyone who does what Gosnell did?

Amin and his utilitarian buddies: That’s a stupid question. I refuse to answer it.

Looks like you infanticide apologists are in good company when it comes to piss-poor debating skills.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

You are vapid and vacuous actually not a rarity for someone like you. You can’t intelligently discuss Gosnell, abortion, or regulations, because you rely on leftist platitudes and talking points to make your argument. I guess the kool aid tastes too good..

melle1228 on May 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I’ve already established your intellectual dishonesty on this issue, melle1228. You’ve used up all the indulgence I’m prepared to offer you today.

But take heart…there’s always tomorrow!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I’ve already established your intellectual dishonesty on this issue, melle1228. You’ve used up all the indulgence I’m prepared to offer you today.

But take heart…there’s always tomorrow!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

You can’t get much more intellectually dishonest than refusal to answer a simple yes/no question on the basis that you find it “stupid.”

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM

I’ve already established your intellectual dishonesty on this issue, melle1228. You’ve used up all the indulgence I’m prepared to offer you today.

But take heart…there’s always tomorrow!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

No, you really haven’t..

melle1228 on May 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM

The assertion that standard outpatient clinic inspections is somehow an “impossible heavy regulatory burden” seems to me to be an implicit administration that Kermit Gosnell is far closer to being the rule in re: abortion than these pro-choice pro-infanticide ghouls would be willing to admit.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I agree. If they had to regulate abortion clinics then abortion clinics would have to spend money to bring their clinics up to standards. That would cut into their bottom lines which would mean that they would have to charge more to make the same profits. They are afraid that the higher prices would limit abortion. It is all about the money. They don’t care about the woman. Drive thru abortions would be performed if they could.

Follow the money which leads to the lobbyists which leads to the politicians. I think it is sick that killing your child is less expensive than adopting. We live in upside down world.

melle1228 on May 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

*snip*

Me: Would you be in favor of prosecuting everyone who does what Gosnell did?

Amin and his utilitarian buddies: That’s a stupid question. I refuse to answer it.

That’s not the complete question you asked, is it? See how dishonest you are and why neither Armin nor I would indulge you?

Looks like you infanticide apologists are in good company when it comes to piss-poor debating skills.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

HAHAHAHAHAhahahaha!
Disregarding loaded, dishonest questions is actually quite a debate skill. Expertise at asking them is just intellectual dishonesty. YOU are an expert in that regard.

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:18 PM

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

They are not covering it because of what I wrote. You’re obtuse only to divert.

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 4:20 PM

But take heart…there’s always tomorrow!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

You know what? You are correct. There *is* always tomorrow. I read an analogy here and shamefully can’t remember who said it (apologies), but this (and Benghazi and the rest) is like a dam with holes.

The media has only so many fingers.

We have to keep fighting and telling people and reminding people that there are other sources of info. Most people have computers and smart phones.

Eventually they’ll run out of fingers and the dam will break.

So yes, there is always tomorrow. That’s what should frighten you and yours – there is nothing worse than a very angry citizenry who learn that they have been bullsh!tted and lied to for decades.

:)

kim roy on May 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

But don’t let the facts stand in the way or your opinion…

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Not opinion but fact. I’ve been after the righties to quit arguing this from the standpoint of abortion, from the beginning. It’s a losing argument.

You are diverting the murder/infanticide, on purpose.

The right and the left are good at being obtuse, for their own interests. Both sides are dishonest. You are never able to say this, never.

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Disregarding loaded, dishonest questions is actually quite a debate skill. Expertise at asking them is just intellectual dishonesty. YOU are an expert in that regard.

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Okay. Then explain to me how asking you a question that can be answered yes/no is dishonest? If you don’t believe that Gosnell is representative of the abortion industry, you are correct in asserting that your answer wouldn’t matter either way. In refusing to answer one way or the other, you leave yourself open to suspicion that you are being dishonest in asserting that Gosnell is not representative of the abortion industry.

Yes indeed, no matter how you answer, you get raked over the coals. That doesn’t make my question “dishonest” or “stupid.” It just says a lot about you and your refusal to own up to having supported infanticide all these years.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

It is also a fact that if the case were covered even reporters would change their minds. The killing of women and babies is depicted in full blood. The one reporter who did cover it made it very clear that it is mind-altering to see the reality of it.

It’s a good thing people don’t see how sausages are made…and they are made from dead things…this is about the killing, the taking of human lives, all of you liars and obfuscators. May your souls never rest. May you dream, day and night, of these screaming human beings. May you feel their pain, on-going. May you be cursed with this, forever.

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Okay. Then explain to me how asking you a question that can be answered yes/no is dishonest?

Have you stopped beating your wife?
A simple yes or no will do.

If you don’t believe that Gosnell is representative of the abortion industry, you are correct in asserting that your answer wouldn’t matter either way. In refusing to answer one way or the other, you leave yourself open to suspicion that you are being dishonest in asserting that Gosnell is not representative of the abortion industry.

Yes indeed, no matter how you answer, you get raked over the coals. That doesn’t make my question “dishonest” or “stupid.” It just says a lot about you and your refusal to own up to having supported infanticide all these years.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Setup questions based on strawman assertions…

Seriously, do you really think you’re that clever?
Good lord! You don’t even know why your questions can be so easily ingnored!

School’s out for today gryph. Dismissed!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Setup questions based on strawman assertions…

Seriously, do you really think you’re that clever?
Good lord! You don’t even know why your questions can be so easily ingnored!

School’s out for today gryph. Dismissed!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Okay. What’s the straw man? You’re in the “no one approves of what Gosnell did” crowd. You’re also pro-choice. So would you prosecute anyone for the same crimes if it was representative of abortion providers and risked shutting down the legal abortion industry? I as much as admitted it was a thought exercise. You refuse to answer one way or another…which says more about you than it says about me.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Have you stopped beating your wife?
A simple yes or no will do.

Why yes I have. I had no choice when I sent the poor thing to the hospital and she died there. But I paid my debt to society and I say an annual confession at the nearest Diocesan cathedral every year.

School’s out for today gryph. Dismissed!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:37 PM

I answered your question. Now wanna answer mine?

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I answered your question. Now wanna answer mine?

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I don’t answser the questions of WIFE BEATERS!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

I don’t answser the questions of WIFE BEATERS!

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Wife killer. Or did you miss that part? I’m only free cause I won the case on appeal after serving a decade of hard time in the state clink.

Now tell me why a wife beater bothers you more than a child killer, ghoul.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Me: Would you be in favor of prosecuting everyone who does what Gosnell did?

Amin and his utilitarian buddies: That’s a stupid question. I refuse to answer it.

Looks like you infanticide apologists are in good company when it comes to piss-poor debating skills.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Gosnell did many things including breathing, eating, and walking. You need to specify what exactly what you think should be prosecuted rather than asking vague questions. Only a person with no experience debating would even consider answering your question as it is.

thuja on May 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Alternate headline: Ed Morrissey Sad that Americans recognize Kermit Gosnell as A Major Outlier.

libfreeordie on May 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

There is zero reason to believe that Kermit Gosnell was a major outlier in abortion. There have been multiple abortion clinics found recently with unsanitary conditions and poorly trained, unqualified staff. Live Action has released about 4 just recently.

Wishing it doesn’t make it so.

And given that abortion clinics are so rarely inspected any more, the only sensible position is to start with the assumption that all abortion clinics need to be inspected and cleared, and then go from there.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

There is zero reason to believe that Kermit Gosnell was a major outlier in abortion. There have been multiple abortion clinics found recently with unsanitary conditions and poorly trained, unqualified staff. Live Action has released about 4 just recently.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I wasted my time watching three or four of those videos. Your characterization of them is inaccurate. Those videos are intended to make people disgusted with abortion because late terms abortions are alleged to be similar to infanticide. You should be more careful to make accurate claims.

thuja on May 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Anyone who thinks that using government regulation to intentionally destroy private business is acceptable is not a conservative no matter what they call themselves.

Armin Tamzarian on May 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

So as long as it’s a business, all conservatives are duty bound to ignore ethical concerns and support it.

Does this apply to contract assassins? After all, as long as they’re doing professional hits and it’s strictly business, then all conservatives have to support their right to earn a living…

The idea that conservatives have to support anything that calls itself an industry is absurd.

It’s also an attempt to distract from the real issue. Neither side claims to support unsanitary and unsafe conditions. But the pro-abortion side is perfectly willing to live with all the above, and a reasonable level of death and medical complications, as long as their precious right to abortion is protected.

And that’s exactly why Republican governor Tom Ridge stopped inspecting abortion clinics, and Democratic governors after him continued the policy. Abortion is sacrosanct. The death of a few poor black women, and infants that were delivered alive, is a small price to pay.

Schadenfreude is right that this is nominally about infanticide. You could be all for the prosecution of Gosnell without necessarily being against abortion.

But we all know that it’s also about abortion. The single reason why the media won’t cover the story is because it might make abortion look less safe and desirable. The reason governments won’t inspect and regulate abortion clinics while doing routine semi-annual inspections of any fast food place is that it might cause some abortionists to go out of business. Rather than say, “Good. Unsafe practitioners should be out of business,” they would rather whitewash the entire industry and pretend there is nothing to be concerned about.

We could subtitle this whole nasty business with Gosnell (for the media) as, “All for the love of abortion.”

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 10, 2013 at 7:08 PM

I wasted my time watching three or four of those videos. Your characterization of them is inaccurate. Those videos are intended to make people disgusted with abortion because late terms abortions are alleged to be similar to infanticide. You should be more careful to make accurate claims.

thuja on May 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Infanticide is what Gosnell is charged with. Do you believe that LeRoy Carhart is uncomfortable with doing what the Pennsylvania legislature has determined is premeditated murder? Or do you think it begs belief that no one knew what was common practice at Gosnell’s

charnel house

abbatoir abortion clinic?

I guess we can no longer accept the talking point that “no one is defending Gosnell.” Sure sounds like you are, Thuja.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Gosnell did many things including breathing, eating, and walking. You need to specify what exactly what you think should be prosecuted rather than asking vague questions. Only a person with no experience debating would even consider answering your question as it is.

thuja on May 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

I am speaking of the things which Gosnell did for which he is being prosecuted. Whether he is guilty of a crime or not is to be determined by the jury.

gryphon202 on May 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

You’re absolutely right. It’s about crushing an entire industry under the weight of an impossibly heavy regulatory burden. Anyone who thinks that using government regulation to intentionally destroy private business is acceptable is not a conservative no matter what they call themselves.

Armin Tamzarian on May 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

And you would have supported slavery when it was legal. that is clear.

CW on May 10, 2013 at 9:31 PM

There is zero reason to believe that Kermit Gosnell was a major outlier in abortion. There have been multiple abortion clinics found recently with unsanitary conditions and poorly trained, unqualified staff. Live Action has released about 4 just recently.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I wasted my time watching three or four of those videos. Your characterization of them is inaccurate. Those videos are intended to make people disgusted with abortion because late terms abortions are alleged to be similar to infanticide. You should be more careful to make accurate claims.

thuja on May 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

I guess to see the similarity between the videos and Gosnell’s clinics, you would actually have to pay attention. But I’m happy to clarify what I’m talking about, if you missed it.

Each of these videos focused on someone going to get a late-term abortion at an abortion clinic, and asking, “What happens if the baby is somehow born alive? Is it possible the baby might have to be rescued?”

It should be obvious how this is relevant to Gosnell, who actually killed a number of babies who were, in fact, born alive. In these 4 videos, the putative patient kept asking whether the baby would be left to die. In every case, they assured her a) it was unlikely the baby would be born alive, b) call us, because a hospital or ER might try to save the baby if it was still alive, and c) if the baby is somehow born alive, we can still make it unlikely the baby can be saved.

The videos demonstrated that Gosnell’s attitudes toward babies born alive after a failed abortion were not unusual. At these four locations, it was pretty clear that most of them were not going to turn around and try to save a baby they had tried to abort just because legally, it was past the point where abortion was allowed.

Now, as for your claim that I should be “more careful to make accurate claims,” I can do without your sham of “concern” for “accurate claims.”

I’ll say it again: there is zero reason to believe that Gosnell is some sort of a major outlier. Multiple abortion clinics have been found to have unsanitary conditions and unqualified staff. Multiple videos from Live Action have been released demonstrating that abortion clinics are not exactly going to jump up and try to save a baby that was born alive when they had been trying to abort that baby just moments before.

And really, is this even surprising to anyone? Did anyone honestly expect that an abortion clinic would reverse course in a heartbeat, when it’s so much easier to obfuscate whether the baby was really viable? It’s all too easy for that same clinic to move slowly to help the baby born alive, focus on the woman instead, and then fudge and delay until the baby is gone.

The only way to be sure that doesn’t happen would be for someone to be there who has an interest in keeping the baby alive. Everyone at the abortion clinic will perceive it to be in their interest to be unable to save the baby.

Your love for abortion and rush to defend it at all costs is frankly bizarre.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 10, 2013 at 10:12 PM

AND IT’S NOT WORKING !

chumpThreads on May 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Yes, yes it is.

pambi on May 14, 2013 at 6:35 PM

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