A majority of Indiana taxpayers support keeping abortion legal. It’s one of the eye-catching findings in a new WISH-TV Ball State Hoosier Survey. It finds that 52% of Indiana taxpayers want abortion kept legal in most or all cases. Just 41% think abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.
Abortion battles are commonplace in the General Assembly. Now, with Republican super majorities in the both the House and Senate Betty Cochrum, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, is on the defensive. When asked if she expects that the Indiana General Assembly will see legislation to further restrict abortion she says, “We see that every year.”
Yet the Hoosier Survey also shows even greater support for abortion in certain situations. In the case of rape or incest 75% think it should remain legal. That number jumps to 83% when a woman’s life is endangered. If her health is endangered 76% want abortion to be legal. That support comes from all demographic groups. “So even a majority of Republicans support those exceptions that allow for abortion,” says Ball State political scientist Joe Losco.
Cochrum says the poll numbers should encourage legislators to leave the abortion law alone. “I absolutely see them as an argument,” she says, “and I hope that our lawmakers will take a look at them.”
But pro-life forces are encouraged by the election in November of a large number of candidates who oppose abortion. Mike Fichter, the President of Indiana Right-to-Life endorsed Richard Mourdock and believes the poll results are a reflection of the campaign run against the losing Senate candidate. “The super majorities now in the Senate and the House know very clearly the strength of the pro-life position,” says Fichter, “and we will certainly expect to see legislation move forward that will address the abortion issue.”
The Hoosier Survey also finds that opinions here are in line with those across the country. A similar national poll shows that the support for keeping abortion legal in most or all cases is just one point higher at 53%. The number of those who want abortion to be illegal in most or all cases is an identical 41%.
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