Poll: Even Pro-Choice Americans Back Abortion Limits
A new Marist College/Knights of Columbus poll finds that strong majorities of Americans, including narrow majorities of those Americans who identify as “pro-choice,” support abortion restrictions such as limiting it to the first trimester and not using taxpayer money to fund abortions.
According to a new Marist College/Knights of Columbus poll, a strong majority of Americans and even a narrow majority of Americans who identify as “pro-choice” support substantial restrictions on abortion, including limiting abortion to the first trimester or not using taxpayer money to fund abortions.
Overall, the poll found that 74 percent of Americans support one or more such restriction, including 54 percent of those who call themselves “pro-choice.”
“The labels really don’t get at people’s actual positions” in abortion debates, said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, in a Monday conference call with reporters.
“Generally people are only given two options,” Carvalho said, referring to identifying as either pro-choice or pro-life, “but the reality is more complicated.”
The poll was conducted Dec. 12-19, 2016, in English and Spanish among a random sample of American adults.
The poll found that 83 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to support abortion in other countries, and more than six in 10 oppose the use of tax dollars to fund abortions in the United States. This includes almost nine in 10 Trump supporters, 87 percent, and even nearly four in 10 Clinton supporters, 39 percent.
In terms of limiting abortion to the first trimester, a majority of Clinton supporters, 55 percent, and more than nine in 10 Trump supporters, 91 percent, say they would approve.
Nearly six in 10 Americans say limiting abortion to the first trimester is either an immediate priority or an important one. That total includes 78 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats. Among those who say they’re pro-choice, 44 percent say restricting abortion is an immediate priority or important.
Among those who want restrictions, 74 percent also want the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of those restrictions. According to the poll-takers, this equates to about 55 percent of Americans who support such action by the Court.
“There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson.
“This poll shows that large percentages of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are united in their opposition to the status quo as it relates to abortion on demand. This is heartening, and can help start a new national conversation on abortion.”
The Knights of Columbus are Crux’s principal partner.
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