Wisconsin Poll Shows Majority of Residents Strongly Pro-Life on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 11, 2013   |   11:57AM   |   Madison, WI

As the pro-abortion movement targets pro-life Governor Scott Walker in next year’s gubernatorial race, Walker and pro-life Wisconsin residents can rest assured that a majority of the state’s voters are on their side.

A majority of likely Wisconsin voters hold pro-life views and a plurality disagree that elected officials are waging a “war on women,” according to a scientific random survey conducted last week by a nationally respected polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies. The poll, commissioned by Wisconsin Right to Life, explores voter sentiment on questions related to abortion in more detail than a Marquette University poll released last month.

The poll found that, on the question of when abortion should be legal, 55 percent of those surveyed took a pro-life view compared with 45 percent who supported abortion.

“The POS poll, with its accurate and precise questions, is consistent with results from scientific polling commissioned by Wisconsin Right to Life over a period of many years,” stated Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

When Should Abortion Be Legal?

55% of those surveyed expressed a pro-life view, as follows:

Abortion prohibited in all circumstances   13%
Abortion legal only to save the life of the mother   15%
Abortion legal only in cases of rape, incest, save life of mother   27%

45% of those surveyed expressed a pro-choice view, as follows:

Abortion legal for any reason in first three months of pregnancy   29%
Abortion legal for any reason in first six months of pregnancy   8%
Abortion legal for any reason at any time during pregnancy   9%
(Numbers don’t add due to rounding)

The poll also questioned likely voters regarding Sonya’s Law, enacted earlier this year by the Legislature.  Sonya’s Law requires that women considering an abortion receive information based on an ultrasound procedure.  It also establishes hospital admitting privilege requirements for abortion providers.

As to the ultrasound provision, forty-seven percent of respondents to the POS poll favored “a law requiring that a woman seeking an abortion have an ultrasound with the option of a free one to see her baby’s development.”  Forty-six percent opposed such a provision. A recent Marquette poll , which also raised the ultrasound issue but did not inform respondents as to the purpose of the provision, found that fifty-six percent of respondents opposed the ultrasound provision — showing when voters are informed what the law does they are more likely to support it.

The new poll also found that fifty-eight percent of respondents favored “a law to protect women’s health which requires that anyone performing an abortion have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.”  Thirty-one percent opposed such a requirement.

On the question of protecting a baby who feels pain, the POS poll found that fifty-one percent of respondents favor “a law that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks based on the unborn child’s ability to feel pain at that age.”  Forty percent are opposed.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said their “personal view is that politicians are enacting common sense laws meant to protect innocent children and increase safety standards in abortion clinics to ensure women’s safety.”



Forty-four percent said their “personal view is that politicians are waging a war on women and not respecting a woman’s right to privacy and to choose what is best for her body.”

Verbatims on most poll questions can be found at:

The POS poll was conducted on November 5 and 6 with 500 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38%.  Poll respondents were 52% female and 48% male.  Respondents were 37% Republican or leaning Republican, 40% Democrat or leaning Democrat, and 22% independent/other (2% declined to identify).