Poll: Plurality of Americans Want All or Most Abortions Illegal, Want More Limits

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 30, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll: Plurality of Americans Want All or Most Abortions Illegal, Want Pro-Life Laws

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 30
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new Harris Poll finds a plurality of Americans want all or most abortions to be illegal and overwhelming majorities of Americans want more abortion limits in law. The nationwide poll showed just 9 percent said abortion should be legal for any reason at any time during pregnancy — Barack Obama’s position.

The Harris survey included 2,341 adults and was conducted December 10-12.

It found 82 percent of Americans said abortion should either be illegal under all circumstances or would limit its legality.

More specifically, 49 percent of those polled took a pro-life position wanting all abortions made illegal (11 percent) or wanting almost all abortions illegal except for very rare cases of saving the mothers life or in rape or incest (38 percent).

“These findings are remarkable,” said Deirdre McQuade, who is the spokeswoman for the pro-life office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which sponsored the poll.

“Fewer than one in ten Americans support legal abortion for any reason at any time during pregnancy. But that is precisely the current state of abortion law under Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decisions that made abortion legal throughout the nine months of pregnancy for virtually any reason," she told LifeNews.com.

The survey also found strong majorities of Americans support all of the common types of abortion limits enacted in Congress or state legislatures.

Some 95 percent of Americans say they favor laws ensuring only licensed physicians can do abortions.

Another 88 percent favor informed consent laws that provide women with information about abortion’s risks and alternatives beforehand and 76 percent say they want laws that protect doctors and nurses from being forced to perform or refer for abortions against their will.

Some 73 percent of Americans in the Harris poll support parental involvement laws, 68 percent favor a ban on partial-birth abortion, and 63 percent favor bans on making taxpayers fund abortions.

“Support for these measures cuts across ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ positions. Over a third (35 percent) of the small minority who said abortion should be legal for any reason throughout pregnancy nevertheless supported three or more of the six laws presented,” McQuade said.

“These same widely-supported, constitutionally valid measures, some of which have been proven effective in reducing abortion rates, are now seriously threatened by abortion advocates and their allies in Congress,” McQuade said. “On behalf of children and their mothers, we will have to fight to keep such laws in place.”

“This research indicates how out of touch pro-abortion groups are with mainstream America,” McQuade added.

“Pro-abortion groups have already sent a comprehensive 55-page blueprint for their agenda to the incoming Administration,” McQuade told LifeNews.com. “But their agenda—including publicly-funded abortions, passage of the so-called ‘Freedom of Choice Act’ (FOCA), and attacking the Hyde amendment and other longstanding pro-life provisions in appropriations bills—won’t sell in the general public.”

“Most people agree we should work to reduce abortions, but you can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortion and eliminating all the policies that have proven effective in reducing abortions,” McQuade concluded.

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