New National Poll Finds Americans are Pro-Life: 54% Want All or Most Abortions Made Illegal

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2019   |   11:35AM   |   Washington, DC

A new national poll confirmed a majority of Americans oppose most or all abortions and want them made illegal.

Heritage for America has released the results of national polling on various political issues, including abortion. The National General Election Survey poll was conducted by Basswood Research from June 3 to June 6, 2019 among 1,200 likely voters across the nation. Margin of error is ± 2.83%.

The survey asked American voters nationwide, “Which of the following views about abortion comes closest to your own.”

A total of 9% of Americans said abortion should be illegal in all cases or, as 45% said, illegal in most cases but some exceptions. Those exceptions are typically cases when the life of the mother is threatened or in rape or incest — which constitute just 2-3% of all abortions. That means a total of 54% of Americans oppose 97-100% of al abortions.

Just 40% of Americans say they support all abortions (18%) or permitting abortions in some cases (22%). That means only 18% of all Americans nationwide agree with Planned Parenthood and each of the Democrats running for president in supporting abortions up to birth.

Democrats were most supportive of abortion but 35% of all Democrats still oppose all or most all abortions. Republicans took a pro-life position with 80% of Republicans wanting all or most abortions illegal. And a majority of both suburban men and women supporting making abortions illegal.

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Meanwhile, 76% of Americans agreed with legislation requiring medical care for babies born alive after failed abortions, by a 76-10% margin.

The results track with the latest Gallup poll on abortion.

Gallup found 60% of Americans take a pro-life position on abortion wanting all (21%) or almost all 39% abortions made illegal. That 60% figure is the highest percentage of Americans espousing a pro-life position since 2009 and a dramatic rise in pro-life attitudes since the 53% figure Gallup pound in its polling last year.

The poll found just 38% of Americans take a pro-abortion position wanting all (25%) or almost all (13%) abortions legal. That is down from the 43% pro-abortion figure Gallup found last year.

That pro-life shift from 53% of Americans opposing all or most abortions in 2018 to 60% opposing all or most abortions today is reflected in a self-identifying question asking Americans if they consider themselves pro-life or pro-choice. Such questions always produce odd results because they tend to show that some pro-life Americans consider themselves pro-choice even though they oppose all or most abortions — something seen in the current Gallup poll.

The poll found a 49-46% pro-choice split last year but this year the pro-life margin has increased and a plurality of Americans now say they are pro-life, 49-46%. That’s a 6% total shift in the pro-life direction from last year.

The Gallup poll tracks with other pro-life this year showing pro-life majorities.

February polling data from Marist shows one of the biggest pro-life shifts in history. Americans moved towards the pro-life direction on abortion by a 17% margin in one month after Democrats defending allowing babies to die in infanticide and legalized abortions up to birth in the state of New York.

This is the first time since 2009 that as many or more Americans have identified as pro-life as have identified as pro-choice. More than a third of Democrats (34 percent) as well as two-thirds of Republicans (67 percent) identify as pro-life. Independents divide (46 percent pro-life, 48 percent pro-choice).

At the same time, the survey found that opposition to late-term abortions is overwhelming. By about three to one (71 percent to 25 percent), Americans say abortion should be generally illegal during the third trimester. This majority includes 60 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents and 85 percent of Republicans.

And a poll recently found 58% of Americans want all or almost all abortions made illegal.

A poll conducted by the Morning Consult research firm finds most Americans want abortions to be made illegal either in all cases or in very rare cases such as rape or incest or win the pregnancy directly threatens the life of the mother. Those cases constitute less than 2 or 3% of all abortions, meaning that most Americans support making virtually all abortions illegal.

The poll found 3% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in all cases and another 45% believe abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape or incest or a risk to the mother’s life. Another 5% believe abortion should only be legal in cases of rape or incest and another 8% believe abortion should only be legal in cases of a direct risk to the life of the mother.

That entire subset of voters constitutes 58% of Americans taking a pro-life position against abortion while only 27% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal only after the baby can survive outside the womb and another 12% did not know where they stood on abortions.

The poll found little difference in the abortion attitudes of women and men as 60% of women favored making all or almost all abortions illegal while 61% of men agreed.