WASHINGTON (CNS) — A few days before the annual March for Life, a new national poll indicated shifting public attitudes, crossing party labels, in favor of increased restrictions on abortion.
“When you ask Americans what they think of abortion … you get very, very strong numbers in favor of restrictions,” said Andrew T. Walther, vice president of communications of the Knights of Columbus, during a Jan. 23 news conference livestreamed to reporters.
The Marist survey of 2,729 adults was conducted in December and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. It contains breakdowns by political affiliations and ethnicity but not religious beliefs, so there was no information on how many respondents were Catholics.
Fifty-two percent of the respondents indicated that they thought of themselves as “pro-choice,” while 42 percent self-identified as pro-life. But when the questions became more detailed on abortion policies, the numbers shifted.
Across political and ethnic lines, overwhelming majorities of respondents indicated they would like “significant restrictions.” That included 91 percent of those who called themselves supporters of President Donald J. Trump, and 55 percent of those who identified themselves as Hillary Clinton supporters. The poll further showed that 79 percent of both African-American and Latino respondents favored significant restrictions.
Further, 74 percent said they wanted the Supreme Court to rule on these restrictions, indicating support for overturning the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion virtually on demand.
Eighty-three percent said abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother, while 77 percent said it should not be permitted under any circumstance.
In line with Trump’s new executive order reinstating what’s called the Mexico City Policy, which bans tax dollars from funding groups that promote or perform abortion overseas, 83 percent opposed that use of tax money in other countries, and 62 percent opposed the use of tax money generally.
Fully half the respondents thought abortion “has a negative, long-term impact on a woman’s life,” while 19 percent were unsure.
Fifty-nine percent believe that abortion limits were either “important” or an “immediate priority, and the same percentage agreed when asked if they thought abortion was “morally wrong.”
The same level of support was expressed for an abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 60 percent believed that medical professionals with moral objections should not be legally required to provide abortion services.
The 44th annual March for Life, which draws thousands to Washington to commemorate the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision, will be held Jan. 27.
The survey was conducted Dec. 12-19 by the Marist Poll. Adults age 18 and older living in the continental U.S. were in interviewed live by telephone in English or Spanish. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103