Just 21% of New York Residents Support New Law Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth

National   Steven Ertelt   Mar 28, 2019   |   3:03PM    Washington, DC

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation legalizing abortions up to birth in New York state, pro-life organizations called that a radical law out of step with the views of most Americans on abortion.

According to a new poll conducted by Marist University, those pro-life groups were right. That’s because just 13% of Americans and 21% of New York residents support that New York law allowing abortions for any reason without any limits up to the day a baby is born.

In the wake of a new law that allows abortion at any time during pregnancy, a new survey conducted by the Marist Poll finds that the overwhelming majority of New York State residents oppose late-term abortion.

When given a wide range of choices to describe their position on abortion, two-thirds of New Yorkers (66 percent) said they would limit abortion to – at most – the first trimester of pregnancy. Only two in ten would allow it in the last trimester (21 percent). That number includes a majority of Democrats (54 percent), about two-thirds of independents (65 percent), and almost nine in 10 Republicans (88 percent).

Abortion after 20 weeks is opposed by New Yorkers by a margin of 75 percent to 20 percent. This includes 71 percent who would ban abortion after 20 weeks and four percent who would ban the procedure altogether. This includes about seven in 10 Democrats (69 percent), about three quarters of independents (73 percent), and almost nine in 10 Republicans (89 percent).

The numbers are in line with the national survey results, which found in February that Americans opposed abortion after 20 weeks by 71 percent to 18 percent.

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About two-thirds of New Yorkers also say abortion should be “generally illegal” in the last trimester of pregnancy (63 percent), while about half as many (32 percent) think it should be “generally legal.” This includes a majority of New York Democrats (53 percent), about two thirds of independents (65 percent) and more than eight in 10 Republicans (84 percent).

Nationally, Americans say third trimester abortion should be “generally illegal” by a 71 percent to 25 percent margin.

“New Yorkers simply do not support laws that allow late-term abortions,” said Carl Anderson of Knights of Columbus, which commissioned the poll. “It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite opposition by the majority of New Yorkers, and by a majority of those who identify as Democrats, Republicans and independents.”

When given a wide range of choices to describe their position on abortion, two-thirds of New Yorkers (66 percent) said they would limit abortion to – at most – the first trimester of pregnancy. Only two in ten would allow it in the last trimester (21 percent). That number includes a majority of Democrats (54 percent), about two-thirds of independents (65 percent), and almost nine in 10 Republicans (88 percent).

Nationally, eight in 10 Americans would similarly limit abortion to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy.

About the Survey
This survey of 981 adults was conducted February 25th through March 4th, 2019 by The Marist Poll sponsored in partnership with The Knights of Columbus. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the state of New York were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers. Telephone numbers were randomly selected based upon a list of telephone exchanges from throughout the state. The sample was balanced to reflect the 2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates for age, gender, income, and region except for race, which is from the 2010 census. Results are statistically significant within ±3.5 percentage points.