Americans support higher standards for abortion clinics, poll finds

Credit: Syda Productions via www.shutterstock.com.
Credit: Syda Productions via www.shutterstock.com.

.- A new poll released Monday found that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe abortion clinics should be held to the same medical and safety standards as other outpatient surgery centers.

The survey follows last month’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics on the grounds that it placed an “undue burden” on a women’s “right to an abortion.”

The case had challenged two Texas regulations of abortion clinics. One regulation said that abortionists must have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case of a medical emergency at their clinic. The other said that clinic buildings must meet the standards of ambulatory surgery centers: they must have proper sanitation, staffing, and medical experts on hand to deal with medical emergencies.

Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed in the July 2016 poll believe that abortion clinics should be held to the same standards as other outpatient surgery centers.

The agreement was widespread across the board, including 77 percent of African Americans and 82 percent of Latinos, in addition to 77 percent of women, and 84 percent of millennials.

Even 74 percent of those who consider themselves “pro-choice” agreed that abortion clinics should meet the standards of other outpatient surgical centers.

Furthermore, 70 percent of Americans said that doctors who perform abortions to be required to have hospital admitting privileges.

This included 71 percent of women, 77 percent of millennials, and 78 percent of Latinos. Both those who identify as pro-life and those who identify as pro-choice showed a 71 percent rate of support for this requirement.  

The survey, conducted July 5-12, 2016 by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, polled 1,009 adults in the U.S., with a 3.1 percentage point margin of error.

In addition to asking Americans about their views on medical standards for abortion facilities, the survey revisited questions from previous polls involving abortion restrictions.

It found that 78 percent of Americans support substantial restrictions on abortion and would limit it to the first trimester of pregnancy at most.

While this number is down from last year’s Marist survey, which found in January 2015 that 84 percent of Americans supported substantial abortion restrictions, the poll director said the numbers are still very stable throughout the years.

“The majority of Americans in favor of abortion restrictions has been consistently around 8 in 10 for the better part of a decade,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll. “Though self-identification as pro-life or pro-choice can vary substantially from year to year, the support for restrictions is quite stable.”

The Marist poll also found that the majority of Americans – 62 percent – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, although this number dropped by 6 percent from last year.

Opposition to taxpayer-funded abortion in the 2016 poll was found among 65 percent of African Americans, 61 percent of Latinos, and 45 percent of those who say they are pro-choice, in addition to 84 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Independents and 44 percent of Democrats.

Remaining steady from last year, Americans by about a 20-point margin believed that medical professionals should not be forced to perform abortions against their conscience.

This included 61 percent of Latinos polled and 41 percent of those who identify as pro-choice.

Tags: Abortion, Pro-life, Catholic News