Faye Wattletion, former president of Planned Parenthood, announced some "alarming" news in late June. Her organization, the Center for the Advancement of Women, had commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates to do a major study on contemporary feminism. The result was "Progress and Perils: A New Agenda for Women," a 140-page report on women's views on a range of issues, including abortion. The central finding: Far from wanting abortion as readily available as botox or tattoos (1.3 million abortions took place in 2000), most women oppose the procedure. As Wattleton wrote in the introduction, "There is significant and growing support for severe restrictions on abortion rights."
Of 3,329 women surveyed, 51 percent wanted to ban abortion altogether or to limit it to cases of rape, incest, and where the mother's life is endangered. Another 17 percent said the procedure should be available under stricter limits than now apply. At a time when pro-choice feminists repeatedly invoke the magical three-word phrase "right-wing extremist" to describe President Bush's judicial nominees, the study's results are alarming indeed.
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