Survey Finds Unity among Americans on Abortion Restrictions

Printer-friendly version Printer-friendly version
1/23/2012

Nearly 8 in 10 advocate significant restrictions on abortion

As the United States marks the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, a new survey shows that the vast majority of Americans support significant abortion restrictions.

The Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll found that 79 percent of Americans say that they would not allow abortion after the first three months of pregnancy. 51 percent would only allow abortion – at most – in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother – or would not allow it at all. The numbers have held up over time as well and are almost unchanged from two years ago.

“Almost four decades after the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which resulted in the almost totally unrestricted abortion regime of today, these decisions continue to be out of step with the vast majority of Americans,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Far from being settled law, the inadequacy of the Court’s reasoning on abortion in Roe and Doe is readily apparent to most Americans. Once a survey moves beyond the labels of pro-life and pro-choice, we see a fundamental unity among Americans in favor of significant abortion restrictions.”

In addition, the survey found that Americans (84 percent) believe that laws can protect both the life of the unborn and health and well-being of women. That number was consistent with – and slightly higher than – findings two years ago when the number who said both could be protected was 81 percent.

The questions on abortion were part of a broader survey, which will be released in February.

This report details the findings from a telephone survey of 1,053 adults residing in the continental United States. Data were collected from December 15, 2011 through December 27, 2011 using an online, probability-based panel from Knowledge Networks, Inc. Reports for adults have a margin of error within +/- 3 percentage points.