Or so says the latest Gallup survey on the subject. Just a year ago, those who “would consider themselves pro-choice” outnumbered those who “would consider themselves pro-life” 50 percent to 44 percent. Now the numbers are more than reversed, 42 percent to 51 percent. On the eve of Obama’s trip to South Bend, this finding has been considered highly newsworthy and greeted with huge enthusiasm by pro-life activists and politicians. But look down the Gallup report a ways and it appears as though the shift is largely nominal. That is, when asked not how they’d label themselves but what their actual position on abortion is, there’s been hardly any change. For example, 53 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be legal under certain circumstances. That’s just about the same percentage as four years ago, and well within the 50-something range where it’s been since the mid-1970s.
So if Gallup is to be believed, “pro-life” is now a term that 20 percent or so of pro-choicers now use to describe themsleves.