Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Monday, July 21, 2008

More on the Quinnipiac poll

Rob links (here) to a new poll, by Quinnipiac University, showing, among other things, that a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in "all" or "most" cases.  This might be a bit Panglossian, and I don't mean to underestimate the significance of the fact that 20 percent believe abortion should be legal in "all" cases, but . . . I would like to see the results of follow-up questions to the "legal in most cases" answerers.  I suspect -- I'm not sure, but I suspect -- that most of these people, like most Americans, mistakenly assume that (a) Roe is more restrictive than it really is and (b) that a high percentage of abortions are procured in cases involving rape, incest, serious health threats to the mother, serious "fetal abnormalities", etc.  That is, I wonder if follow-up questions to the "in most cases" people would reveal that, in fact, many of these people believe that abortion should be regulated to a (much?) greater extent than it now is?

Another question in the poll, by the way, is relevant to the discussion / debate we've been having about Sen. Obama's proposed changes -- which would limit the ability of participating institutions to hire-for-mission -- to Pres. Bush's faith-based initiative.  So, the poll reports this result: 

37. Do you think that these faith-based organizations that receive federal money should be able to discriminate in favor of hiring people of their own faith?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk


Yes                     16%     27%      9%     15%     19%     13%     17%     14% No                      77      67      84      77      75      78      76      79 DK/NA                    7       7       7       8       6       9       7       7
Yikes.  But, isn't it reasonable to think that this number is at least related to the power of the word "discriminate"?  No one tells pollsters they are for "discrimination," I assume.  But, what if the question were, "do you think that religious organizations that provide social-welfare services should have the right, even if they receive some public funds, to retain their religious identity and independendence"?  I think / suspect / hope that most people would say "yes."  And, *this* is what is at stake in the "discrimination" debate.

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Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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