Self-described liberal Bill Maher isn’t backing away from his pro-choice beliefs, but he said on his show last week that he’s learning facts about the abortion debate in the U.S. he previously didn’t realize.
“I learned things this week – because this put it on the front page – that are pretty basic things that I did not know about abortion,” Maher said. “Like in Europe, the modern countries of Europe are way more restrictive than we are. … If you are pro-choice, you would like it a lot less in Germany and Italy and France and Spain and Switzerland.”
“Did you know that?” he asked his panelists, who said they didn’t.
“I learned most people who are pro-life are women. [I] did not know that,” he added.
Did you know the majority of pro-life advocates are women? Or that the United States is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy? pic.twitter.com/lnjwMgkxxk— Jeanne F. Mancini (@jeannemfl) May 9, 2022
Data backs up Maher.
A 2015 survey project by Vox and PerryUndem showed that women comprise a slight majority among those who consider themselves to be pro-life. The report noted that in a 2018 Gallup poll, men were more likely than women to say they favor legal abortion in all circumstances.
Meanwhile, a fact checker for the Washington Post in 2017 reported that the United States is one of “just seven countries out of 198 to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy” – confirming a pro-life talking point.
“The data back up the claim,” The Post said.
A 2021 study by the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute found that 39 European countries limit elective abortion to 15 weeks or earlier in the pregnancy, while eight European countries do not allow elective abortion. Due to Supreme Court precedent, no state in the U.S. prohibits elective abortion after 15 weeks, the study said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Vivien Killilea/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.