Poll finds strong US support for abortion restrictions
Purdue University students at the 2012 March for Life.
Purdue University students at the 2012 March for Life.
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.- A new survey from the Knights of Columbus reports that most Americans support abortion restrictions, prompting calls for more legislative and judicial action against abortion.

“The American people understand that abortion is bad for everyone, and even those who strongly support abortion want it reduced significantly, so it is time that our lawmakers and our courts reflected this reality,” Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, said Jan. 21.

“Four decades after Roe v. Wade, abortion remains at odds with the conscience and common sense of the American people.”

The results of the survey were released ahead of the Jan. 22 March for Life, which marks the 41st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that mandated permissive abortion laws nationwide.

The survey, conducted by The Marist Poll, reports that almost 75 percent of Americans favor a ban on abortions after 20 weeks except to save the life of the mother. Eighty-four percent would limit abortion to the first three months of pregnancy, including 58 percent of respondents who self-describe as “strongly pro-choice.”

About 80 percent of survey respondents support parental notification for a minor seeking an abortion. Almost 80 percent support a 24-hour waiting period. Another 62 percent favored changing laws to allow for some restrictions on abortion. About 58 percent support showing a woman an ultrasound image of her unborn child at least a day before a scheduled abortion.

Most respondents said that abortion causes more harm than good to a woman. More than half of respondents, 53 percent, said that life begins at conception. Another 62 percent said that abortion is morally wrong.

A slight majority of Americans support continued debate about abortion.

About 76 percent oppose allowing abortions to be performed by non-doctors, a practice recently legalized in California and proposed for legalization in New York.

The survey was conducted Dec. 10-15. It interviewed 2,001 adults in the continental U.S. and claims a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

The survey also queried Americans about religious freedom, an increasingly prominent area of controversy.

Seventy-one percent of respondents agreed that protections for religious freedom should be favored above government laws.

The survey sponsor, the Knights of Columbus, is a Catholic fraternal organization with more than 1.8 million members worldwide.

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January 29, 2015

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