New Polling Data Shows that 66 Percent of Americans Favor Imposing “Significant Restrictions” on Abortion
New research reveals that 66 percent of Americans support “significant restrictions” on abortion, which would include banning abortion after the first trimester. Interestingly, majorities of both Democrats and Republicans favor imposing “significant restrictions”—as did a majority of Americans who identify as pro-choice.
The data comes from polling work commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, and is good (and surprising) news for pro-life advocates.
The Free Beacon summarizes the findings as follows:
[Pollsters] asked about when abortion should be available: through the whole pregnancy, during the first six months, the first three months, only in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother, only in the case of the life of the mother, or under no circumstance. Notably, respondents were not given the ability to specify a specific month beyond three or six, which suggests that the data may not capture the full range of preferences.
Seventy-six percent selected one of the last four options, which the KoC defined as “significant restrictions on abortion.” Twelve percent said they believe abortion should be available at any time. . .
Beyond the breakdown of when abortion should be permitted, [the pollster] surveyed a number of questions pertaining to abortion. Most notably, 63 percent of Americans support a 20-week abortion ban. . . Even a majority of Democrats supported the 20-week ban, rising to 56 percent of Democrats from 49 percent a year ago.
The data do come as a surprise, given that the mainstream media consistently demonizes politicians and activists who take a pro-life position. The change in opinion speaks to the efforts of pro-life organizations that have worked tirelessly to show abortion’s darker side—like the trafficking in human body parts done by Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider.
If this sounds unreasonable, you can see the video admission for yourself:
While the polling data shows that Americans increasingly favor placing limits on abortion, they remain divided over the morality of abortion:
Americans are divided, although not precisely, on the morality of abortion. Independent of its legality, 56 percent consider abortion morally wrong, while 41 percent consider it morally acceptable. The moral consensus grows more pronounced in the case of abortion of a child with a genetic disorder: 64 percent consider it morally wrong, while just 26 percent consider it morally acceptable.
Americans also generally support conscience rights when it comes to abortion. Sixty percent oppose or strongly oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions, including 43 percent of self-identified Democrats and 56 percent of self-identified independents. Fifty-four percent of Americans think that doctors with moral objections should not be legally required to perform abortions, including 40 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents.
Moral questions are always thorny, so this is not surprising.
To conclude, Andrew Walther, the Vice President of the Knights of Columbus spoke to the changing nature of the abortion debate, saying that seeing it as “all or nothing” is fundamentally unproductive. It would be far better for everyone if we began legislating on the points of broad-based agreement:
What you see here is that the broad consensus means that the debate should be changing. We shouldn’t be having these debates about, it’s all or nothing, because when you look at this, that’s twelve percent and eight percent of the population respectively think it’s all or nothing. The vast majority, if we actually start this debate in terms of where the consensus is, things could get done that everybody would agree on.
And most people that consider themselves on one side or the other of this debate, that 50-50 proposition with the labels, most of those people could actually be satisfied with a debate that began with the consensus.
Walther’s right: debating binary propositions rarely does any good, and it’s a guaranteed way to ensure nothing gets done. The fact is that abortion in America is contentious, and both sides enjoy broad support. Therefore, any agreement that does exist should be pounced upon by legislators.