As the United States is weeks away from marking the tragic 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand throughout pregnancy, new polling data shows 80 percent of Americans want more limits on abortions.
The survey also shows a majority take one of three pro-life positions on abortion, opposing 99 percent or 100% of all abortions done annually in the United States.
Four decades after the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Roe v. Wade, a new Marist poll provides more details about Americans’ attitude on abortion, with 83 percent favoring significant restrictions. The poll reveals that support for significant abortion restrictions has increased by four points since last year — rising from 79 percent to 83 percent.
Looking at abortion in views in general, 10 percent believe abortion should never be permitted; 12 percent believe abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother; 34 percent would restrict abortion only to cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother; and 27 percent would limit abortion to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy.
Few Americans take the position of either President Barack Obama or Planned Parenthood, as only 11 percent would allow abortion at any time, while 6 percent would allow it during the first six months of pregnancy.
“After four decades of legalized abortion in this country, Americans have had ample time to understand that abortion has terrible consequences,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. His organization commissioned the poll Marist conducted.
Anderson told LifeNews: “They understand abortion’s true legacy — a child loses life, and parents lose a child. And after witnessing the effects of abortion for the past 40 years, Americans are not legally or morally comfortable with that legacy. It is time for our country to chart a new course on this issue — a course that protects both the mother and the child.”
The survey also found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans (58 percent) believe abortion is “morally wrong.” And 84 percent of Americans say laws can protect both mothers and unborn children.
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“For years polls have found that Americans divide on labeling themselves as pro-life or pro-choice,” said Lee Miringoff of The Marist Poll. “By asking more detailed questions about their specific views on abortion, we have been able to go beyond those labels to get a more complete picture of what Americans actually think about this issue.”
The survey is right in line with Gallup’s most recent national poll on abortion. Gallup found, in May 2012, the percentage of Americans who identify them selves as supporting legalized abortion has dropped to a record low.
“The 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as “pro-choice” is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009,” the polling firm noted. On the other hand, 51 percent of Americans call themselves pro-life, one percentage point away from the record high.
The newly released survey is the latest in a series of polls commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by The Marist Institute for Public Opinion. This KofC-Marist Poll data was gathered via a telephone survey of 1,246 adults residing in the continental United States and has a margin of error of ±2.8 percentage points. Data were collected from December 4 through 6, 2012.