A strong majority of Americans support stronger pro-life laws, according to a new poll released just days before the annual March for Life. More than two-thirds of Americans (69%) would support ending all abortion no later than the first trimester, including nearly three out of four women (72%) and nearly half (49%) of all surveyed Democrats.
The poll found 44% of people want increased abortion restrictions, including not allowing abortion at all (8%), allowing abortion only to save the life of the mother (10%), or in the case of rape or incest (26%). Only one in five voters believe abortion should be available at any point in pregnancy, without restriction.
The Marist poll, sponsored in partnership with the Knights of Columbus, shows a strong pro-life majority more in line with recent Republican pro-life legislation than the Democratic Party platform, which calls for taxpayer-funded abortion until birth. Additionally, the survey, conducted earlier this month, found:
78% of Americans oppose forcing taxpayers to fund abortion overseas;
60% of Americans oppose forcing taxpayers to fund abortion in the United States;
94% oppose sex-selective abortions (because of the child’s sex);
77% say people with religious objections should not be legally required to carry out abortions
60% of Americans oppose aborting a child because the child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome;
55% say employers with religious objections should not be forced to pay for abortion coverage in their employees’ insurance; and
91% of Americans, including 88% of Democrats, support the work of pro-life pregnancy resource centers.
Those results show a Republican legislative agenda is in the mainstream, or perhaps slightly behind, public opinion.
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For instance, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (H.R. 7) which restricts federal funds from going to “any abortion” (except in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother), stops taxpayer dollars from funding health benefits that cover abortion, and bars doctors who work for the federal government from carrying out abortions. The House had been poised to vote on the bill — which has attracted 113 co-sponsors, all Republicans — in its first two weeks in session. The vote on the bill has yet to be rescheduled, as of this writing.
On the other hand, nearly all House Democrats voted against the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 26), which would compel abortionists to offer lifesaving care to newborn babies born alive during botched abortions. It passed the House 220-210 on January 11.
The same day, the GOP-controlled House also passed a resolution condemning violence against pro-life churches and pregnancy resource centers 222-209. The Family Research Council has documented 101 such attacks since last May. Only three Democrats voted for the measure, which merely expressed the consensus of the body against violence.
“Life is winning in the Dobbs era. The American people overwhelmingly reject the extreme abortion lobby-Democratic Party agenda of abortion on demand until birth, paid for by taxpayers,” said SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The pro-life movement will fight for the strongest protections possible, in legislatures across the land and in our nation’s capital. We will continue to grow the pro-life safety net, which includes nearly 3,000 pregnancy centers and maternity homes nationwide. We will hold elected leaders and candidates to a high standard, urging them to cast a clear and ambitious pro-life vision and to go on offense.”
The poll found active faith, participation in college, and party registration to be the most important factors in whether one supports abortion-on-demand or protects life in the womb. Those who practice a religion oppose abortion 61% to 39%, while the irreligious describe themselves as pro-choice by a margin of 70% to 21%. Two-thirds of practicing Roman Catholics oppose abortion (67% to 33%), while non-practicing Catholics describe their views as pro-choice 83% to 17%.
The groups most likely to identify as “pro-choice” included registered Democrats (88%), non-practicing Catholics (83%), and college-educated white people (72%). No other faith was surveyed by the poll, which was sponsored by the Catholic fraternal organization. Rural voters were twice as likely to be pro-life as those who live in large urban areas (62% to 31%). White Americans were modestly more likely (42%) to describe themselves as pro-life than non-white Americans (34%).
The Marist poll came out the same day as a separate poll, conducted by WPA Intelligence, showed that 60% of self-described pro-choice likely voters in Virginia supported a bill that protects unborn babies from abortion after 15 weeks. Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) supports legislation codifying these pro-life protections.
“In the face of pro-abortion extremism, we are more expectant than ever before that we will protect our victories, advance our leaders, and make new gains that will save countless lives,” said Dannenfelser.
LifeNews Note: Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.