Poll: 60 Percent Oppose All, Most Abortions; 28% of "Pro-Choice" are Pro-Life
by Steven Ertelt
October 14, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new national poll of Americans finds a large majority take one of three pro-life positions opposing all or most abortions. The survey also finds more than one-quarter of people who say they are "pro-choice" on abortion really take a pro-life position against abortions.
The Marist College Institute of Public Opinion conducted the survey between September 24 and October 3.
Some 60 percent of Americans say abortions should never be allowed or only in the rarest of circumstances, such as rape and incest, that constitute less than two percent of all abortions nationwide.
The Marist survey showed 13 percent say abortion should never be permitted, another 15 percent say abortions should only be allowed to save the life of the mother, and 32 percent say abortions should be allowed in that rare case and when the mother is a victim of rape or incest.
Just 40 percent took one of three pro-abortion positions and only 8 percent agreed with Barack Obama’s position that abortions should be allowed any time during pregnancy for any reason.
Another 8 percent believed abortions should be allowed any time during the first 6 months of pregnancy and 24 percent say they should be allowed only in the first trimester.
The results showed the terms pro-life and "pro-choice" are confusing to a large percentage of Americans. Even though the survey found 60 percent of respondents took a pro-life position against all or most abortions, 50 percent of Americans called themselves "pro-choice" while 44 percent said they were pro-life.
In fact, the Marist poll found 5 percent of people who self-identified as "pro-choice" said abortions should never be permitted, 3 percent said only to save the life of the mother and 20 percent said only in cases of the life of the mother, rape or incest.
In other words, 28 percent of Americans who call themselves "pro-choice" actually take a pro-life position opposing 98 percent or more abortions.
The poll also revealed that only 15% of those describing themselves as "pro-choice" favored unrestricted abortion throughout a pregnancy as another 71 percent said they favored more abortion limits.
The pro-life group Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal order, asked Marist to commission the poll and Carl Anderson, the head of the group, commented on the results.
He said they are "indicative of the fact that term ‘pro-choice’ – when applied broadly – needlessly polarizes the discussion of abortion and masks the fact that there is broad consensus among Americans that abortion should be significantly restricted."
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.