A new Marist poll shows a “dramatic shift” in public opinions on abortion laws in recent weeks. According to Axios, the poll, commissioned by Knights of Columbus, found that Americans are now as likely to identify as pro-life as pro-choice. The most recent poll showed 47% of respondents identify as pro-life and 47% identify as pro-choice.
This is a significant change from polling last month, in which Marist research found that 55% of Americans identified as pro-choice and 38% identified as pro-life.
The seismic shift appears to be led by Democrats under the age of 45. Barbara Carvalho, who directed the Marist poll, explained that this month’s poll found 34% of Democrats identify as pro-life and 61% as pro-choice, compared with last month when only 20% identified as pro-life and 75% as pro-choice.
“This has been a measure that has been so stable over time. To see that kind of change was surprising,” Carvalho said. “And the increased discussion [of late-term abortion] in the public forum in the past month appears to have made the biggest difference in how people identify on the issue.”
In a press release from the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights, said, “Arguments in favor of late-term abortion are simply not convincing the American people.” He added, “If anything, since these proposals have been unveiled, people are moving noticeably in the pro-life direction. It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite the opposition of the majority of Americans of both parties.”
Among Americans under the age of 45, 47% identify as pro-life and 48% pro-choice. In January, those numbers were 28% and 65%, respectively. This shift is consistent with previous polling that found Millennials oppose abortion.
The survey was conducted by phone from February 12 through February 17, 2019, and included 1,008 adults. More information on the poll can be found here.
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