New Poll Shows Americans Support Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 27, 2013   |   1:35PM   |   Washington, DC

The House of Represenatives recently approved a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Although President Obama and Senate Democrats are opposed to the measure, a new national poll reveals Americans support it.

From the National Journal:

Americans favor such a bill by 48 percent to 44 percent.

Support was greatest among Republicans, 59 percent in support, but 53 percent of Americans not affiliated with either major party sided with the GOP. A majority of Democrats, 59 percent, were opposed while only 33 percent were in favor.

But the poll, notably, showed that women supported such a measure in greater numbers than men (50 percent of women in favor; 46 percent of men).

Overall, the survey suggests that the 20-week abortion measure fractures some of the modern Democratic coalition. Among all age groups, it was young Americans–who have regularly sided with Democratic priorities in the age of Obama–who most strongly supported the measure (52 percent). The measure also received the support of 51 percent of white women, both those who are college educated and those who are not.

The abortion measure received plurality support across all income levels and even fared well in the suburbs–a key battleground for social issues and elections–receiving 49 percent support, with 41 percent opposed.

The measure split along racial lines, with white Americans in favor (50 percent to 43 percent) and nonwhites opposed (49 percent against to 43 in favor).

In the poll, arguments for and against the measure were presented to Americans.

Survey respondents were told that the legislation included exceptions in cases of rape and incest that were reported to authorities. They were also told supporters say the bill was necessary because a fetus can feel pain at that point in pregnancy and that opponents say the measure undermines abortion rights granted by the Supreme Court in 1973.

The survey of 1,005 adults was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from June 20 to 23, via both landlines and cell phones. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

The bill, if it receives a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate, is not expected to pass and pro-abortion President Barack Obama has issued a veto threat. But pro-life groups hope to use the measure as an election tool in 2014 in an attempt to wrest the Senate from abortion advocates.

A recent national poll by The Polling Company found that, after being informed that there is scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least by 20 weeks, 64% would support a law banning abortion after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life was in danger.   Only 30% said they would oppose such a law.