Americans not as keen on abortion as you might think

According to a survey of 1,009 adults conducted July 5-12, 2016, by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus American strongly favor restrictions on abortion. The Supreme Court recently overturned a Texas law that mandated that doctors have admitting privileges at a local hospital and that abortion clinics be held to the same standards as other outpatient surgery centers. Despite the supposed wisdom of the Supreme Court clear majorities of Americans want abortioin clinics held to those standards. This makes sense. What doesn’t makes sense is pro-abortion advocates being against it since one of the biggest talking points they advance in favor of unrestricted abortion is to save women from the horrors of what they call “back-alley abortions.”  Pro-abotion advocates consistently say they want abortions to be safe for women’s health so their opposition to health standards for abortion clinics seems grossly out of whack and hypocritical.

A majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, support the right of health providers who are conscientious objectors to back out of performing abortions, and support limiting abortion to the first trimester of pregnancy. You may recall that Roe v. Wade was premised on allowing abortion only in the first trimester. Subsequently the Supreme Court, led by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, slowly chipped away at that until procedures that more resemble infanticide than abortion became enshrined in O’Connor’s idea of a “living” Constitution.

Among the key findings of the poll:

Though 51 percent of Americans say they are pro-choice, about 8 in 10 Americans support substantial restrictions on abortion (78 percent), and would limit it to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This number includes 62 percent of those who identify as pro-choice, 85 percent of African Americans and 84 percent of Latinos.

Taxpayer funding for abortion is opposed by 62 percent of Americans. This includes 65 percent of African Americans, 61 percent of Latinos, and 45 percent of those who say they are pro-choice, as well as 84 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Independents and 44 percent of Democrats.

Concerning the recent Supreme Court decision, Nearly 8 in 10 Americans (78 percent) want abortion clinics to be held to the same standards as other outpatient surgery centers. This includes 77 percent of African Americans and 82 percent of Latinos, as well as 77 percent of women, and 84 percent of millennials. About three quarters of those who identify as pro-choice (74 percent) agree, as do strong majorities regardless of party affiliation. 

In addition, 70 percent of Americans want doctors who perform abortions to be required to have hospital admitting privileges. This includes 71 percent of women, 77 percent of millennials, and 78 percent of Latinos, Pro-life and pro-choice adherents are also equally likely to support such a requirement at a rate of 7 in 10 for each group (71 percent).

And by almost 20 points, a majority of Americans (56 percent to 37 percent) do not believe that healthcare providers should be forced to perform abortions against their conscience or religious beliefs. This includes 6 in 10 Latinos (61 percent) and 4 in 10 who identify as pro-choice (41 percent).

News stories on this poll here, here and here.

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