On MSNBC's Hardball, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council claimed that "the majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life," even though recent polls show otherwise.
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On the March 7 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins baselessly claimed that "the majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life." In fact, recent polls asking that exact question show that a plurality -- or even a majority -- of Americans identify themselves as "pro-choice," not "pro-life." Host Chris Matthews did not challenge Perkins's assertion.
A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, conducted February 28-March 1, found that 49 percent of respondents identify themselves as "pro-choice," compared with only 41 percent who identify themselves as "pro-life." The poll's margin of error was +/- 3 percent. Similarly, in a January 6-8 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll that asked the same question -- also with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent -- 53 percent of respondents said they consider themselves "pro-choice," compared with only 42 percent who said they are "pro-life."
From a March 7 discussion on Hardball of the recently-passed South Dakota law banning all abortions, except in cases in which a woman's life is endangered by a pregnancy:
PERKINS: We've been preparing the hearts of the people for 33 years and we see now that the majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life. I think for the Republican Party, it's time to fish or cut bait. Do they want to use this as a political issue or do they want to advance human life -- the protection of human life?
MATTHEWS: Are you going to hold them to that?