New Poll: Plurality of Americans Want Abortions Banned After 20 Weeks

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 18, 2013   |   11:55AM   |   Washington, DC

Another new national survey shows that more Americans than not favor banning late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, as Texas did today with Governor Rick Perry signing its late-term abortion ban into law.

Although most polls have shown a strong majority of Americans favor banning late-term abortions new Rasmussen poll showed a plurality favor it on a 44-41 percentage point margin. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. Forty-one percent (41%) oppose such a ban. Another 15% are undecided.

“Interestingly, there is little difference of opinion between women and men on the new abortion laws. Forty-five percent (45%) of women support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, as do 43% of men,” Rasmussen indicated.

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. Polling from Texas also shows support for the legislation.

Even a Huffington Post poll found a majority of Americans support banning late abortions — on a 2-1 margin.

The Rasmussen poll also found national support for other pro-life laws limiting abortion:

But 48% favor a law that would require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals before they can perform abortions. Thirty-three percent (33%) oppose requiring those doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, while 20% are undecided.

Most voters (72%) believe doctors who perform abortions should be required to meet the same medical standards and admitting procedures as doctors who do not perform abortions. Sixteen percent (16%) disagree, while 12% are not sure.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of men and 48% of women favor requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Over 70% of both women and men believe abortion doctors should be required to meet the same medical standards and admitting procedures as doctors who do not perform abortions. Women are still more likely than men to be pro-choice, however.

Perhaps not surprisingly, about half of pro-choice voters oppose a ban on abortions after 20 weeks and requiring doctor admitting privileges.  Most pro-life voters favor both proposals.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 16-17, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.