New Poll Shows Americans Continuing to Move Toward Pro-Life Position on Abortion

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7/10/2009

86 Percent Favor Significant Restrictions; Majority Believes Abortion Hurts a Woman Long-Term

Abortion in America

The American people continue to move to the pro-life perspective on abortion according to the latest Moral Compass survey by the Knights of Columbus and Marist Poll.

The poll mirrored findings of other recent surveys, showing that more Americans identify as pro-life than as pro-choice, and that the vast majority of Americans favor restricting abortion.

Among the key findings:

· 86 percent of Americans would significantly restrict abortion.
· 60 percent of Americans would limit abortion to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of a mother – or would not allow it at all.
· 53 percent of Americans believe abortion does more harm than good to a woman in the long term.
· 79 percent of Americans support conscience exemptions on abortion for health care workers. This includes 64 percent of those who identify as strongly pro-choice.
· 69 percent of Americans think that it is appropriate for religious leaders to speak out on abortion.
· 59 percent say religious leaders have a key role to play in the abortion debate.
· 80 percent of Americans believe that laws can protect both the health of the woman and the life of the unborn. This includes 68 percent of those who identified as strongly pro-choice.

Additionally, the data showed that since October nearly every demographic sub-group had moved toward the pro-life position except for non-practicing Catholics and men under 45 years of age.

Independents and liberals showed the greatest shift to the pro-life position since October, while Democrats were slightly less likely to be pro-life now than they were in October.

“The data shows that the American people are placing an ever increasing value on human life,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Far from the great divide that most people think exists when it comes to the abortion debate, there is actually a great deal of common ground. Most Americans are unhappy with the unrestricted access to abortion that is the legacy of Roe vs. Wade, and pundits and elected leaders should take note of the fact that agreement on abortion need not be limited to the fringes of the debate and issues like adoption or pre-natal care. The American people have reached a basic consensus, and that consensus is at odds with the unrestricted access to abortion that is the legacy of Roe.”

The survey of 1,223 Americans was conducted May 28 – 31 and has a margin of error of +/-3 percent.