New Poll: Majority of Americans, Blacks, Students Pro-Life on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Poll: Majority of Americans, Blacks, Students Pro-Life on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 26, 2004

Washington, DC ( — While abortion advocates marched in Washington on Sunday, pro-life groups were touting the results of a new poll showing that a majority of Americans, including African Americans and students, are pro-life on abortion.

In a poll released Friday by Zogby International, a respected polling firm, a total of 56 percent agreed with one of the following pro-life views: abortion should never be legal (18
percent), legal only when the life of the mother is in danger (15 percent) or legal only when the life of the mother is in danger or in cases of rape or incest (23 percent).

Since abortions in cases of rape or incest or those necessary to save the life of the mother are extremely rare, that means a majority of Americans oppose approximately 96 percent of all abortions.

Only 42 percent of those surveyed agreed with one of the following statements supporting abortion: abortion should be legal for any reason in the first 3 months (25 percent), legal for any reason during the first 6 months (4 percent) or legal for any reason at any time during the woman’s pregnancy (13 percent).

"NARAL, Planned Parenthood and their comrades like to think they represent a majority of Americans," stated Carol Tobias, political director for the National Right to Life Committee. "However, the latest poll shows that their extreme position of abortion on demand throughout pregnancy is supported by only 13 percent of the public."

When asked to simply identify themselves as "pro-life" or "pro-choice," Americans said they were pro-life by a 49-45 percent margin.

With 49 percent calling themselves pro-life and 56 percent of Americans taking a pro-life position on abortion, some confusion exists about the labels used to identify both sides of the abortion debate.

Meanwhile, according to Holly Smith, director of youth outreach for NRLC, the Zogby poll found that 51.6% of 18-29 year-olds call themselves "pro-life."

"This is remarkable, not just because it confirms that a majority of the post-Roe generation is pro-life, but that they label themselves so," Smith said.

In the Zogby poll, 60 percent of 18-29 year-olds took one of the pro-life positions on abortion while only 39 percent agreed with the three pro-abortion stances. Some twenty-six percent of young Americans said abortions should never be legal.

On the question of whether abortion should not be permitted after the fetal heartbeat begins, 65.5% of 18-29 year-olds agreed, 46.9% strongly so.

The human heart begins to beat 18-21 days after fertilization, before most women realize they are pregnant.

Other groups of people also supported the pro-life perspective by wide margins.

Hispanics support a pro-life position by a 78-21 percent margin, African Americans backed the pro-life perspective 62-38.

In response to other questions, the survey showed:

* 61% said abortion should not be permitted after the unborn child’s heart has begun to beat

* 65% agree that abortions should not occur after fetal brainwaves have been detected (usually in the early weeks of pregnancy)

* 74% said taxpayer money should not be used to pay for abortions

* 77% favor laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion.

With a majority of Americans backing a pro-life position, President Bush has strong support for the pro-life legislation he has signed, including a ban on partial-birth abortions and a bill to protect pregnant mothers and their unborn children from violence.

"President Bush and his administration have admirably supported the views of the majority of Americans by working to change our culture to a culture of life," Tobias added. "This administration is making positive changes that will benefit both women and their children."

Zogby International polled 1,209 individuals from April 15-17 and the margin of error is +/- 2.8 percent.

Related web sites:
National Right to Life –