I’ve suspected very strongly that FOCA would go against the wishes of the vast majority of U.S. citizens.  This article seems to support that suspicion (with my emphases and comments)

Poll: Most Americans Want Abortion Restricted: Over 90% Favor Limits

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, OCT. 17, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A U.S. nationwide poll shows that almost all Americans think abortion should be restricted.

The poll was conducted for the Knights of Columbus by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion between Sept. 24 and Oct. 3. It aimed to enable comparisons of the views of Catholic voters with those of the general electorate.

The poll asked respondents to state which of six statements came closest to describing their opinion on abortion.

Only 8% of U.S. residents chose the statement saying abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants during her entire pregnancy.  [A very small minority indeed, and these are the people who would be served by FOCA.]

That same percentage said abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of pregnancy. Twenty-four percent moved the abortion limit to the first three months of pregnancy.

The largest percentage — 32% — chose the statement saying abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. [I’m not suprised by this at all; this is the opinion I hear most often from “pro-choice” people whom I know and have talked to personally.  The thing is: these cases account for only about 2% of all abortions.  Can you imagine reducing abortion by 98%?  That would save hundreds of thousands of lives every year in the U.S.!]

Fifteen percent chose the fifth option: that abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother.

And 13% affirmed that abortion should never be permitted under any circumstance.

The poll also indicated that even among those who describe themselves as pro-choice, 71% favored restricting abortions. Of these, 43% would restrict abortion to the first trimester and 23% would restrict abortion only to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said the poll results are “indicative of the fact that the term ‘pro-choice’ — when applied broadly — needlessly polarizes the discussion of abortion and masks the fact that there is broad consensus among Americans that abortion should be significantly restricted.”

That last point is so important. Speaking for myself, I am occasionally guilty of painting my “pro-choice” opponents too broadly.  (It only takes one rotten apple…)  But this poll–and I really feel like it’s pretty accurate–suggests that very many “pro-choicers” are decent, ordinary people who really hate abortion and want most instances of it to cease.  They have been brave enough to wrestle with the horrible question, and while their conclusions may not match up exactly with mine or with each others’, in most cases, they are not all that far off: restrict most abortions.

Now, if we can work together more to make that happen… and keep FOCA from crushing the efforts we’ve made so far!

Do I want abortion in this country to be non-existent?  Yes.  Absolutely.  As a Catholic, I see it as intrinsic evil.  It directly and brutally attacks innocent human beings who have no defense whatsoever.  As such, it is the gravest of injustices.  Neither Roe v. Wade nor any other legislation can change that truth; any such law is itself complete unjust.  I cannot in good conscience abide by such injustices.

But just because we can’t completely wipe out the injustice in one fell swoop doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work hard to bring about whatever justice we can, when we can.  It may seem like very tiny steps… it may seem impossible at times.  But we can’t let ourselves be paralyzed by despair–that is not an option!  Even one saved life is something to treasure–who knows what that one life will do and accomplish?  I am convinced that more abortion is restricted, the more people are going to want to restrict it.  Because freeing ourselves and our nation of such a huge, monstrous evil is going to transform us.  Light is going to pierce the darkness, and people are going to want more of that light, and less of that darkness.

So, even the most modest of restrictions on abortion is extremely important right now and for our future.  We can’t let them be trampled.  We just can’t.  We the majority need to speak out and urge our legislators to speak out and represent us.  The United States is not an apartheid state, nor a tyranny.  What the majority of Americans want is what the majority of Americans should get.

Related posts:

FOCA: a death sentence for freedom

Cardinal Rigali on FOCA

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