PARKERSBURG - A new poll sponsored by Planned Parenthood Federation of America says more than half of people polled oppose bans of abortions at 20 weeks.
Wanda Franz, president of West Virginians for Life, said in looking over the study in the whole it appeared they asked a question about specific aspects of abortion. Franz is a retired professor from West Virginia University and has a Ph.D. in child development.
"They only talk about late term abortion and cases involving the life of the mother being considered or where it might be from rape or incest," she said. "In almost every law banning abortion after 20 weeks there is an exception for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother."
Franz said another aspect of the poll covered babies born with a fetal anomaly.
"Babies who are probably viable if they were delivered early, they are willing to kill them. It is a sad statement about our culture, not reaching out to a sick child," she said.
Franz said a poll from April by National Right to Life found the opposite result.
Other Findings in the Poll Were:
* 66 percent of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a woman's doctor determines that the woman would suffer serious, long-lasting health problems if she carried the pregnancy to term.
* 61 percent of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a woman's doctor determines that the fetus is not viable and the woman and her family determine that her health and personal circumstances are such that she should not continue her pregnancy.
* 61 percent of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
"That poll said 64 percent of those polled supported a ban past the stage where the baby would feel pain and 30 percent opposed the ban at that point," she said.
Franz said a pain bill was introduced in the West Virginia Legislature in 2013 but it did not make it to committee. She said the group plans to reintroduce the bill in 2014.
According to a press release from West Virginia Planned Parenthood, the poll reflects the reality of late-stage abortion.
"The first poll that reflects the reality of abortion later in pregnancy was released today, showing that when voters understand the real-world circumstances surrounding abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, they overwhelmingly oppose laws that would ban the procedure at that stage," the release said.
"When reminded that abortions are very rare after 20 weeks of pregnancy and that fetal abnormalities are often involved in the instances, a solid 60 percent of registered voters support access to abortion at 20 weeks, with only 33 percent opposing access."
Patty Cooper, president of the Wood County Chapter of West Virginians for Life, said while she has not seen the poll results, there are polls showing the opposite- most people oppose abortion at the 20th week or later.
"I'm a little suspect of this poll," she said. "There are many polls showing most people do not oppose bans of abortion after 20 weeks."
The nationwide poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, showed a majority of voters - 62 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats, 71 percents of Independents - say this is the wrong issue for Congress and their state legislators to debate at this time.
"Abortion is a deeply personal, complex decision for a woman to make in consultation with her doctor, her family and her faith. Politicians cannot make that decision for her. They are not in her shoes," said Pam Van Horn, West Virginia public affairs director for Planned Parenthood Health Systems.
"Abortion later in pregnancy is extremely rare and happens under heartbreaking and tragic circumstances," Van Horn said.