O'Beirne wrong on majority view of abortion

In a discussion on the August 28 edition of CNN's The Capital Gang about the 2004 Republican Party Platform on abortion, National Review Washington editor Kate O'Beirne claimed, "[T]he majority of the public is far closer to the Republicans on the pro-life issue, the abortion issue, than the Democrats." Yet polling data suggests otherwise.

Although the full Republican Party Platform is not yet publicly available, The New York Times reported in an August 25 article that like past party platforms, the 2004 edition supports a constitutional ban on abortion:

On abortion, the platform retained from previous conventions a call for a constitutional amendment banning abortion, expanding its discussion of the issue to a five-paragraph section on the “culture of life” from just two paragraphs in the 2000 platform in a section titled “Upholding the Rights of All.”

While the Republican Party Platform endorses a constitutional amendment banning abortion, the majority of Americans oppose such an amendment, according to the only recent polling data that directly examined the level of public support for a constitutional ban on abortion. A University of Pennsylvania National Annenberg Election Survey conducted July 1 to July 21 found that 48 percent of Americans “strongly oppose” “a constitutional amendment banning all abortions,” and 17 percent “somewhat oppose” such a ban; meanwhile, 23 percent “strongly favor,” and 7 percent “somewhat favor,” and banning abortion.