Democrats’ interest in protecting abortion as a top issue for the federal government has grown substantially over the past year, according to a poll from the Associated Press (AP)-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The December poll found 13 percent of Democrats say protecting abortion is a top priority in 2022, compared to less than one percent who found it a significant issue in 2021, and the three percent who identified it as a priority in 2020.

Pro-Life Atheist: Dem. Party in the Pocket of the "Abortion Industrial Complex"

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 1, 2021

“The public have lots of things that they want to see government addressing,” said Jennifer Benz, deputy director of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. “You ask this kind of question in a time of economic turmoil and in the time of a pandemic and all of these other things going on, we might not expect abortion to rise to the top.”

Benz referred to the sharp rise in Democrats’ apparent belief abortion is a top priority issue for the federal government in 2022 as “stark,” adding that, in prior decades, polling “regularly found that opponents of abortion had greater strength of attitudes and considered the issue important to them personally more than pro-choice people.”

Sam Lau, senior director for advocacy media at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said despite the polling showing more Democrats say saving abortion is a priority, “I still actually think that huge swaths of this population still don’t quite believe that the access to abortion and the 50-year precedent that is Roe v. Wade is really hanging in the balance.”

But other polling suggests the term “pro-choice” no longer identifies a group of individuals typically labeled by the abortion lobby.

A plurality of Americans are opposed to the prospect of federal tax dollars funding abortion, a Scott Rasmussen national survey released Wednesday found.

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 2, 2021

A Marist poll released in January 2021 found 77 percent of Americans either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” the use of taxpayer funds for abortions overseas.

Even among those who identify as “pro-choice,” 64 percent said they oppose the use of their tax dollars to support abortion abroad.

That poll also found more than three-fourths of Americans (76 percent) back significant restrictions on abortion, including a majority who identify as “pro-choice.”

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2021. - The justices weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2021. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

“While the number of people who identify as ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ tends to fluctuate with the public debate, when given a broader choice of policy options, there is a strong consensus among Americans on abortion,” said Dr. Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll.

“Survey results reveal support for abortion restrictions and an aversion for use of taxpayer funding for abortions abroad.”

Though Planned Parenthood and its allies have typically relied on the judiciary to block abortion restrictions, the lobby finished out 2021 with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling the Texas Heartbeat Act may remain in effect while challenges against it continue, and agreeing to decide if state laws banning most abortions are unconstitutional, via a challenge to a Mississippi statute restricting abortions.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh appeared to question Wednesday whether the High Court should be the authority that prohibits abortion, or if the question of abortion should be left to “the states or perhaps Congress.”

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 2, 2021

We “simply cannot rely on the courts to protect our rights and our access to essential health care,” Lau admitted, adding:

We are currently pushing for elected officials who are champions of sexual and reproductive health care to be bold and to go on offense and to pass proactive legislation to protect access to abortion. I think voters are going to go to the polls and want to vote for candidates who they can trust to protect their health care and their reproductive freedom.

But, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood manager-turned pro-life activist, wrote at Fox News in December the abortion industry continues to tell women the “greatest lie,” one that says women need abortion in order to achieve success, equality, and justice.

The founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry that helps abortion industry workers leave the business, Johnson discussed the perspective she once had as a Planned Parenthood employee:

For eight years of my life, I worked at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. As the director of that facility, I would happily educate women on the ease of abortion, glossing over any details of the procedure or any possible risks. I would walk them up and down the halls, escorting them in and out of rooms as they waited for their turn to lay on a table that was still warm from the woman who had just taken their turn before them … after all, our goal was to have a woman on and off the table, abortion complete, in five minutes. Time is money in the abortion industry… we had a certain quota, or number of abortions that we had to sell each month.

According to recent data provided by Worldometer, abortion was the leading cause of death globally in 2021.

Nearly 43 million unborn babies were killed in utero, as of noon on December 31, 2021, while 8.2 million people died from cancer, 5 million due to smoking, 1.7 million from HIV/AIDS, 1.3 million due to traffic accidents, and 1 million people from suicide, Breitbart News reported.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,089 adults states it was conducted Dec. 2-7 “using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population.”

The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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