71 percent of self-described pro-choice voters would significantly restrict abortion.
Supreme Knight Cark A. Anderson answers a question from the media in Rome after presenting the findings of a Marist Poll on U.S. Catholic voters. Anderson’s presentation was telecast to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. media.300 dpi image for print
A new nationwide poll shows that 35 years after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, public support for the court’s unrestricted access to abortion throughout an entire pregnancy stands at just 8 percent.
The poll was conducted for the Knights of Columbus by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion between Sept. 24 and Oct. 3, 2008, and was designed to enable comparisons of the views of Catholic voters with those of the general electorate.
The poll asked respondents to state which of six statements came closest to describing their opinion on abortion.
• 8 percent of U.S. residents chose option 1, that abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy;
• 8 percent chose option 2, that abortion should be allowed only during the first 6 months of pregnancy;
• 24 percent chose option 3, that abortion should be allowed only during the first 3 months of pregnancy;
• 32 percent chose option 4, that abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother;
• 15 percent chose option 5, that abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother; and
• 13 percent chose option 6, that abortion should never be permitted under any circumstance.
The poll also revealed that only 15 percent of those describing themselves as “pro-choice” favored unrestricted abortion throughout a pregnancy. 71 percent of pro-choice respondents said they would restrict significantly restrict abortions. Of these 43 percent would restrict abortion to the first trimester and 23 percent would restrict abortion only to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson described the poll results as “indicative of the fact that the term ‘pro-choice’ – when applied broadly – needlessly polarizes the discussion of abortion and masks the fact that there is broad consensus among Americans that abortion should be significantly restricted.”