New Marist Poll: Significant ‘Pro-Choice’ Support for Abortion Regulations
41% of respondents who identified as pro-choice said they are more likely to vote for candidates who support abortion restrictions.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans favor returning abortion restrictions to the states, favor a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and are favorable to voting for politicians who would restrict abortion. This is according to a survey that finds unexpected support for these policies among those who self-identify as pro-choice.
The results come from a January 2020 Marist Poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the U.S.
The survey weighs American opinion as observers speculate the U.S. Supreme Court will revisit the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and other precedents mandating legal abortion nationwide.
“Most Americans want the court to reinterpret Roe either by stopping legalized abortion or by returning the issue to the states,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus said Jan. 22.
According to the survey, 55% of Americans back a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 45% of pro-choice respondents backed such a ban, as did 69% of self-identified pro-life respondents.
41% of respondents who identified as pro-choice said they are more likely to vote for candidates who support abortion restrictions. More than 90% of those who identified as pro-life said the same.
Anderson said the support for abortion restrictions among pro-choice Americans “shows how misleading it is to conflate the term ‘pro-choice’ with support for radically pro-abortion position that calls for unrestricted abortion.”
About 65% of respondents said they are more likely to vote for candidates who would limit abortion to the first three months of pregnancy, at most. Broken down by party affiliation, 88% of Republicans, 62% of unaffiliated voters, and 44% of Democrats said this.
At the same time, the survey indicated that 55% of Americans self-identify as pro-choice, while 40% identify as pro-life.
The survey indicated Americans would be favorable to changes in the abortion status quo if the Supreme Court revisits Roe v. Wade: 46% of respondents said the Supreme Court should allow states to determine abortion restrictions. Another 16% wanted the high court to make abortion illegal, while 33% said the court should allow unrestricted legal abortion at any time in pregnancy.
When considering voter dedication to their views of abortion and legal protections for unborn children, “intensity is stronger on the pro-life side,” the Knights of Columbus summary of the survey said. About 45% of self-identified pro-life respondents said abortion is a “major factor” in their vote for president, compared to 35% of self-identified pro-choice respondents.
Asked if laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child, 80% of respondents said they could.
An “overwhelming majority” of respondents, 75% vs. 21%, opposed taxpayer funding of abortion overseas. About 60% oppose taxpayer funding of abortion in the U.S. Another 52% of Americans back requiring ultrasounds for women before they have abortions.
The Marist Poll survey of 1,237 adults was conducted Jan. 7 to Jan. 12. It claims a statistical significance of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. Among the 1,070 registered voters who responded, the survey claims statistical significance of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.
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