Polls: Majority of American Voters Want Abortion Restrictions

Two polls released this week have found most American voters want limits on abortion.

Results of a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States poll released Wednesday found 57.6 percent of American voters want abortion to be legal in only specific circumstances, while a Rasmussen Reports survey published Tuesday showed 67 percent of likely U.S. voters say abortion should not be legal past the first three months of pregnancy.

The Trafalgar Group poll, which surveyed the views of 1,082 likely general election voters between May 6-8, found 57.6 percent of American voters believe abortion should only be legal in specific circumstances.

The survey has a margin of error of 2.99 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

In response to the question “When do you believe abortion should be legal?” 24 percent said abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother, while 13.9 percent said illegal except in the case of endangerment to the life of the mother. Another 19.7 percent said abortion should be illegal once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is generally around six weeks of pregnancy.

Additionally, 30.8 percent of voters believe abortion should be legal in the first and second trimesters, while 11.6 percent said it should be legal up until the moment of birth, including partial birth.

When political affiliation is a factor, the Trafalgar poll found the majority of independent voters, or those with no party affiliation, agreed with Republicans in wanting strict limits on abortion, as did over one-third of Democrats.

In answer to the same question, when abortion should be legal, 81.5 percent of Republicans said abortion should only be legal in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother (35.7 percent); only when the mother’s life is in danger (23.1 percent); and once a fetal heartbeat is detected (22.7 percent).

Among Republican voters, 14 percent said abortion should be legal in the first and second trimesters, and 4.5 percent believe abortion should be allowed until birth, including partial birth.

Nearly 36 percent of Democrat American voters said abortion should only be legal in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother (14.2 percent); only when the mother’s life is in danger (3.5 percent); and once a fetal heartbeat is detected (18.2 percent).

The survey also found 45.3 percent of Democrat voters believe that abortion should be legal only in the first and second trimesters, while 18.8 percent said it should be legal up until the moment of birth, including partial birth.

Meanwhile, the poll showed 54.6 percent of independent voters believe abortion should only be legal in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother (21.6 percent); only when the mother’s life is in danger (15.1 percent); and once a fetal heartbeat is detected (17.9 percent).

Additionally, 33.8 percent of independents said abortion should be legal in both the first and second trimesters, while 11.5 percent believe it should be allowed up until birth, even including partial birth abortions.

“The Left is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to create the perception that a majority of Americans support unrestricted abortion,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action, which sponsored the poll. “But as these numbers show, American voters – including more than a third of Democrats – have paid attention to the science of fetal development, and support a variety of restrictions on abortion.”

The Rasmussen survey found 67 percent of likely U.S. voters believe abortion should be outlawed after the first trimester of pregnancy, an outcome that includes 24 percent who want abortion entirely banned.

According to the poll, 13 percent say abortion should be legal up to six months of pregnancy, and another 13 percent  want abortion allowed at any time up until birth.

Additionally, the survey showed 46 percent of voters identify as pro-choice, while 42 percent describe themselves as pro-life, and 12 percent are not sure.

When political affiliation is a factor, 68 percent of Democrats say they are pro-choice, while 66 percent of Republicans identify as pro-life. Among independents, 42 percent are pro-choice, 39 percent are pro-life, and 19 percent are not sure.

The survey also found of those voters who describe themselves as pro-life, only 48 percent say all abortions should be outlawed. Only 23 percent of those who identify as pro-choice believe abortion should be legal at any moment in pregnancy until birth.

Among the pro-choice voters, 66 percent want abortion restricted either to the first trimester (47 percent) or up to six months of pregnancy (19 percent).

Rasmussen Reports conducted the survey of 1,000 U.S. likely voters May 15-16. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

An outlier when it comes to restricting abortion, the United States is one of only seven nations in the world that allows elective abortion at any time during pregnancy up until birth. Among the nations that share that distinction with the U.S. are China and North Korea.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Pro-Life Supporters” by March for Life

 

 

 

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