Washington, D.C., October 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews) – President Obama and his allies, including Planned Parenthood, have been hammering critical “swing states” with ads accusing presidential challenger Mitt Romney of waging a “War on Women” with his pro-life views. A new poll suggests the scare campaign may be paying off.  Women in swing states now say abortion is the most important issue in the 2012 election, ranking it ahead of jobs, health care, the economy and foreign policy. 

Gallup polled registered female voters in twelve states where the presidential race is predicted to be close, asking them what they consider the top issue in the presidential campaign.  The question was open-ended, meaning the women had to supply their own answers rather than choose between options provided by pollsters. 

Thirty-nine percent identified abortion as their top issue – far higher than the next most popular issue, jobs, which only 18% of women said was most important.


Overall, women voters showed a slight preference for President Obama’s positions on key issues, giving him a single-digit lead over challenger Mitt Romney on topics including unemployment, healthcare and international relations. Exceptions were the federal budget and deficits, where challenger Mitt Romney took the lead, and government policies on birth control, where Obama enjoyed a significant advantage.

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Obama’s attack campaign against Romney on so-called “women’s issues,” including birth control and abortion, attempts to paint the Republican as an extremist.

Romney favors banning abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Obama favors unlimited access to abortion, including taxpayer funding of abortions for poor women.  His administration has also issued a controversial mandate requiring employers to provide coverage for contraception, sterilizations and abortion pills to their female workers free of charge, without regard for those who object on religious grounds.  Romney has said he believes contraception should be available to women, but opposes forcing employers to pay for it.

Gallup also polled swing-state men about their top issues.  Their answers differed significantly from those of their female counterparts.  Male voters listed jobs, the economy, and the federal budget as their top three issues.  Abortion didn’t make the top ten. Men favored Romney on every issue with only one notable exception: government birth control policies.

The poll did not ask whether respondents supported or opposed abortion.  Historically, Americans have been about evenly split on the issue, but another recent Gallup poll shows that more pro-life voters consider abortion above all else when casting their votes.

American Life League spokesman Jim Sedlak found the swing state poll numbers troubling.  In his opinion, they highlight a lack of understanding about life issues among the general public. “There is much need for educational outreach across the country,” he said.

“We need to be operating in every state in the nation to tell the truth about life in the womb and the personhood of the preborn child.”