New Poll: Most Americans Support Abortion Restrictions

A survey conducted in January 2015, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, shows that 84% of Americans want restrictions on abortion.

(photo: 2014 CNA/Jeff Bruno)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Americans continue to show strong support for abortion restrictions, according to a new survey that finds even self-described “pro-choice” Americans reject permissive abortion laws.

“Four decades after Roe v. Wade, the American people remain unhappy with its legacy,” Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, said Jan. 21. “The survey makes clear that the American people understand that abortion is far too common and causes great harm.”

Thursday marks the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which mandated legal abortion nationwide at any time during a woman’s pregnancy.

While current constitutional law and other major political forces often prevent abortion restrictions from being enacted, a Marist Institute poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus found that 84% of Americans want significant restrictions on abortion and would limit it to the first three months of pregnancy, at most.

Their numbers include about 69% of self-described “pro-choice” respondents.

Overall, 60% of respondents said abortion is morally wrong, while only 38% said it was not. Another 60% said that abortion does more harm to a woman than good in the long run.

Another 84% say said that laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the life of an unborn baby.

About 64% of people said that the U.S. abortion rate is higher than it should be.

Anderson noted that even self-described pro-choice people want abortion “reduced significantly.”

“It is time that our lawmakers respond to this public consensus with appropriate legislation,” he said.

The survey found that almost 80% of Americans support parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion, and almost 70% oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

Other questions involved freedom-of-conscience concerns.

About 57% of respondents backed legislation allowing medical professionals and organizations to refuse to provide abortions or to refer patients for abortions, while 37% did not.

The survey also found that about 70% of respondents support religious-liberty rights when the law conflicts with religious values.

The Marist Poll, conducted Jan. 7-13, surveyed 2,079 adults in the continental United States. The survey claims a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization with more than 1.8 million members worldwide. Pro-life advocacy and action is among its major charitable efforts.