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Chicago pedestrians questioned on abortion views

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By John Myers | Mar 25, 2017


Aerial view of Interstate 90 and 94 crossing Interstate 55 in Chicago, Illinois. | iofoto

A Chicago-based public policy group took to the streets of the city recently to ask the public its thoughts about several topics in the abortion debate.

The Illinois Opportunity Project released a video featuring its director of communications, Kathleen Murphy, interviewing several people who identified themselves as pro-choice. The organization advocates for issues including school choice, government transparency and budget accountability.

The interviews follow a bill introduced in the General Assembly that would provide state funding for abortion for any reason, including the sex of the child and conditions such as Down syndrome. House Bill 40 is meant to guarantee women the right to an abortion in Illinois regardless of whether the Supreme Court re-examines Roe v. Wade and the government were to limit abortions under President Donald Trump, who has voiced his opposition to the 1973 decision.

Murphy began by asking if “everyone with Down syndrome should be protected.”

All of the respondents agreed that they should.

She followed up by talking about Iceland and its nearly 100 percent abortion rate of fetuses identified with Down syndrome in prenatal exams, according to BBC.com.

She asked what those she talked to felt about such a course of action.

Responses varied, with some interviewees saying that while they didn't necessarily agree with the choice, it still belongs to the parents.

Others said that they found the rationale unacceptable.

“I think that is the wrong choice," one respondent said.

Murphy also told subjects that the majority of gender-based abortions worldwide are done to females. The trend is particularly acute in China, where the United Nations said there were 118 males born for every 100 females in 2011.

Most respondents were against gender-selective abortion, while some still defended a woman's right to have an abortion, regardless of the reason.

Finally, all of the respondents agreed that if science were to advance to the point that a fetus’s sexual orientation could be determined before birth, it would not be acceptable for a woman to make an abortion decision based solely on such information.

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