Poll shows majority of Americans support some abortion restrictions

A majority of Americans surveyed support at least some abortion restrictions, according to a poll conducted ahead of the 50th anniversary of the March for Life held Friday.

The first march was held in 1973 after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in its ruling in Roe v. Wade. Friday was the first time the March for Life was held after the court overturned the ruling last year.

Former President Ronald Reagan designated Jan. 22, or the Sunday closest to it, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day in 1984.

For those marching, “the reversal of Roe is not the end of our fight but a new beginning,” the Charlotte Lozier Institute said. “The steps we take will mean life or death for millions of babies as well as support or neglect for their mothers.” They also said Americans were marching “for the science that clearly demonstrates the humanity of unborn children and the statistics that show a majority of Americans support protecting them and their moms.”

According to a recent Marist Poll, the majority surveyed said abortion should be limited, taxpayers shouldn’t fund abortion domestically or overseas, and pregnancy resource centers should be supported and protected.

The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion conducted the poll with the Knights of Columbus from Jan. 6-9 among 1,025 adults, the majority of whom identified as pro-choice. It has a margin of error of 3.8%.

Among those surveyed, 61% said they were pro-choice; 39% pro-life. Among them, by party affiliation, 88% of Democrats, 25% of Republicans and 67% of Independents said they were pro-choice; 12% of Democrats, 75% of Republicans and 33% of Independents said they were pro-life.

While 21% said abortion should be available at any time of a woman’s pregnancy, a combined 69% said there should be restrictions. Nearly half of Democrats surveyed, 49%, expressed support for restrictions; a strong majority of Republicans (93%) and Independents (70%) support them.

This includes 26% who said abortion should only be allowed in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother; 25% said abortion should be legal only during the first three months of pregnancy. Ten percent wanted stronger restrictions, only allowing for abortion to save the life of the mother; 8% said abortion shouldn’t be permitted under any circumstances.

When it comes to taxpayers funding abortion, 60% said they oppose funding for domestic abortions; 78% said they oppose funding abortions overseas.

A majority also said they oppose sex-selective abortions (94%) and for fetuses diagnosed with down syndrome (60%).

The majority also expressed support for pregnancy resource centers, including 89% of Democrats.

The poll was conducted after House Republicans passed a resolution condemning attacks against churches and pro-life facilities, which nearly all House Democrats opposed, and after all Democrats, except two Texas congressmen, voted against a bill to protect the lives of infants born alive after a failed abortion.

There are currently 12 states that ban abortion with limited exceptions. Another 14 impose restrictions related to the number of weeks of pregnancy or other factors; nine impose less restrictions. Thirteen states impose no or very little restrictions on abortion, according to an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.

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