Poll: Most Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortion

CNA_5e2b81edbd142_179968.jpg Credit: Peter Zelasko/CNA

Most Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to fund abortions in the United States or overseas, according to a Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll released on Wednesday. 

"Amidst the harsh political divides in our country, clear bipartisan majorities support abortion restrictions and do not want their tax dollars paying for abortion abroad," said Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, in a statement on Wednesday. 

"Our polling has shown consistently over the past decade that policies that promote abortion-on-demand paid for by taxpayers are divisive and out of step with American public opinion," Anderson added. 

According to the new poll, the vast majority of respondents (77%) said they either "oppose" or "strongly oppose" using tax dollars to pay for abortion procedures around the world. Only 19% of respondents supported public funding of abortions overseas.

Additionally, most Americans favor significant abortion restrictions, according to the poll. More than three-quarters of respondents (76%) either wanted abortion banned or limited to the first three months of pregnancy-at most. 

Meanwhile, a smaller majority (58%) of respondents opposed taxpayer-funded abortion in the U.S. 

Many Americans favored these restrictions on overseas abortions despite identifying as "pro-choice." 

Slightly more than half of overall respondents (53%) said they were pro-choice, yet among this subset, nearly six-in-ten still opposed using tax dollars to fund abortions overseas. And among Democrats, a majority of them (55%) opposed funding abortions internationally with U.S. tax dollars. 

Dr. Barbara Carvalho, director of The Marist Poll, stated that Wednesday's poll shows "consensus" among Americans on abortion restrictions.

"While the number of people who identify as 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' tends to fluctuate with the public debate, when given a broader choice of policy options, there is a strong consensus among Americans on abortion," Carvalho said in a statement accompanying the poll's release.  

"Survey results reveal support for abortion restrictions and an aversion for use of taxpayer funding for abortions abroad," she said. 

The poll was released two days before a now-virtual March for Life will take place on Friday, the 48th annual March for Life. 

In addition, President Joe Biden is expected to repeal the Mexico City Policy later this week, allowing for federal funding of foreign NGOs that provide or promote abortions overseas.

The policy, which was originally approved by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, has been enacted by every Republican administration and rescinded by every Democratic administration since its beginning. 

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden also said he would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding of elective abortions in the U.S.

Anderson on Wednesday called for "restraint" on pro-abortion policies, in order to more accurately mirror the desires of Americans who want abortion restrictions. 

"The American people show consensus and restraint on this issue, and we hope that our elected officials and policy makers will heed this call for unity when there is far too much that divides us in our politics today," Anderson said.

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