A new Gallup survey on abortion reveals that this is an issue that should worry Joe Biden. It found that 24 percent of Americans say that the candidate for whom they will vote must share their position on abortion.
Significantly, this was true of 30 percent of those who are pro-life, but only 19 percent of those who are pro-abortion. Trump is pro-life and Biden is pro-abortion.
Independents, as compared to Republicans and Democrats, are more likely not to rate abortion as a threshold issue. But even here, the news for Biden is not auspicious.
A CBS poll released last month found that 79 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats said abortion should be limited or banned. For Independents, the figure was 58 percent. In other words, the majority of Independents do not share Biden's position that abortion should be unrestricted.
The key issue, of course, is whether abortion is the taking of an innocent human life or not. A study released in 2019 reported that 96 percent of more than 5,500 biologists surveyed said that life begins at fertilization. This is Trump's position, as well. Biden says it is his, too, but he adamantly refuses to endorse it as a matter of public policy.
"I'm prepared to accept at the moment of conception there's human life and being," Biden said in 2015, "but I'm not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view."
It is preposterous to say that the issue of when life begins can be dissolved to a mere "view." Science does not take a "view" on this subject: it declares, on the basis of empirical evidence, that life begins at conception. Similarly, science offers proof—it is not a "view"—that the earth is round.
On the subject of abortion, Biden is on the wrong side of the public (including Independents), the wrong side of science, the wrong side of history, and the wrong side of morality.
Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.