to recent nationwide opinion polls, support for Roe v. Wade is waning
and the majority of Americans would support restrictions on abortion,
observes Deirdre McQuade, director of planning and information at the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Secretariat for Pro-Life
McQuade notes that “public opinion has moved progressively away from supporting unqualified access to abortion.”
“This is a real sign of hope,” she said, “for both women and their unborn children.” McQuade is hopeful this trend will continue.
A May 4 Harris poll found that support for Roe v. Wade has dropped below 50 percent nationally for the first time in 30 years. It also showed that 44 percent of Americans said they would support a law in their own state like South Dakota's, which bans all abortions except to save the mother's life.
“An April 2006 survey by the Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend found that 54 percent support limiting legal abortion to the extreme circumstances of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother,” McQuade said. An additional 21 percent would limit abortion to the first trimester. Roe v. Wade allows for abortion at any time throughout pregnancy.
In March, a Zogby poll found majority support for abortion regulations such as informed consent laws for women and parental notification laws, with 69 percent favoring such measures for girls under 17 years old.