Support abortion restrictions? So do most Americans

Women pray outside an abortion clinic in Albany New York Credit 40daysforlifecom CNA US Catholic News 11 8 11 Women pray outside an abortion clinic in Albany, New York. |

Americans continue to show strong support for abortion restrictions, according to a new survey that finds even self-described "pro-choice" Americans reject permissive abortion laws.

"Four decades after Roe v. Wade, the American people remain unhappy with its legacy," Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, said Jan. 21. "The survey makes clear that the American people understand that abortion is far too common, and causes great harm."

Jan. 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which mandated legal abortion nationwide.

While current constitutional law and other major political forces often prevent abortion restrictions from being enacted, a Marist Institute poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus found that 84 percent of Americans want significant restrictions on abortion and would limit it to the first three months of pregnancy, at most.

Their numbers include about 69 percent of self-described "pro-choice" respondents.

Overall, 60 percent of respondents said abortion is morally wrong, while only 38 percent said it was not. Another 60 percent said that abortion does more harm to a woman than good in the long run.

Another 84 percent say said that laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the life of an unborn baby.

About 64 percent of people said that the U.S. abortion rate is higher than it should be.

Anderson noted that even self-described pro-choice people want abortion "reduced significantly."

"It is time that our lawmakers respond to this public consensus with appropriate legislation," he said.

The survey found that almost 80 percent of Americans support parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion, and almost 70 percent oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

Other questions involved freedom of conscience concerns.

About 57 percent of respondents backed legislation allowing medical professionals and organizations to refuse to provide abortions or to refer patients for abortions, while 37 percent did not.

The survey also found that about 70 percent of respondents support religious liberty rights when the law conflicts with religious values.

The Marist Poll, conducted Jan. 7-13, surveyed 2,079 adults in the continental U.S. The survey claims a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization with over 1.8 million members worldwide. Pro-life advocacy and action is among its major charitable efforts.

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