Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..
Two new polls show Americans back efforts to end abortion on-demand after 20 weeks.
The results of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released today found an
underlying unease with abortion, more say it should be legal without limitation only up to 20 weeks (as in some recent state laws), as opposed to about 24 weeks, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Roe v. Wade case; the division is 56-27 percent (an additional 8 percent volunteer that it should never be legal).
Supporters of legal abortion divide fairly closely on the 20- vs. 24-week issue, with 49 percent supporting the former and 42 percent favoring the latter. On the other hand, not surprisingly, preference for the shorter option rises to 69 percent among those who oppose legal abortion, with an additional 18 percent of them saying the procedure never should be legal.
GROUPS – Support for legal abortion, as usual, includes similar numbers of men and women (56 and 55 percent, respectively). Also as is typical, religious, partisan and ideological differences are sharp in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.
Among evangelical white Protestants, for example, 66 percent say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases; among non-evangelical white Protestants, an identical 66 percent say it should generally be legal. Catholics divide more evenly, 50-45 percent, legal-illegal. Among those who profess no religion, by contrast – one in six adults – 73 percent support legal abortion.
Hispanics are less likely to support legal abortion than non-HIspanics
Hispanics, a growing segment of the population (and a disproportionately Catholic group), divide narrowly on abortion, with 46 percent saying it should generally be legal, 50 percent, illegal. That compares with 57-40 percent among all non-Hispanics.
Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal poll released today found a "plurality favors states' measures to prohibit procedure after 20 weeks."