An annual US poll has found that 75 percent of respondents want “substantial” restrictions on abortion access while an overwhelming majority of respondents, 83 percent, felt that laws can protect both the mother and unborn child rather than choose to protect one and not the other.
These are some of the conclusions derived from a poll conducted by the Marist College among 1066 adults in the second week of January which revealed that Americans would welcome limits to abortion so that it can only be performed in the first three months of pregnancy.
Even 61 percent of “pro-choice” respondents favoured such a restriction. Unsurprisingly, 96 percent of respondents who identified as pro-life supported such a restriction.
The Knights of Columbus have sponsored the poll since 2008. Andrew Walter, vice president for communications and strategic planning for the Knights told reporters that when you look at what the people want, you will find that they are in favour of restrictions on abortion.
Barbara Carvalho, Marist Poll director, said the results show that there is not “a really polarized electorate” when it comes to abortion. “We actually see where there is a good deal of common ground on the whole host of policy decisions related to abortion.”
She said the survey results reveal that those who identify as “pro-choice” are not necessarily strongly in favour of unrestricted access to abortion as is widely portrayed in media and among some activists in the strongly pro-life and “pro-choice” camps.
Other findings of the survey are:
– By a 54 percent to 39 percent margin, respondents oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
– A far larger majority – 75 percent to 19 percent – oppose the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion in other countries.
– Fifty-five percent of respondents believe medical professionals with moral objections should be allowed to opt out of performing or provide insurance coverage for abortion while 35 percent said such workers should be legally required to participate.
– Forty-two percent of respondents said they believe life begins at conception, 10 percent within the first three months of pregnancy, 9 percent between three and six months, 19 percent when the foetus is viable and can live outside the womb and 13 percent when the child is born; 7 percent were unsure.
The margin of error in the data is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.