The Knights of Columbus have announced the release of the annual Marist poll of abortion attitudes in the United States, which reaffirms that clear majorities want the country to move in a more pro-life direction.
While the poll finds that 44% of Americans identify as pro-life and 51% as pro-choice, their views on specific policies suggest these answers are more indicative of distaste for the labels’ media and cultural connotations than their actual meanings.
57% believe abortion should be either completely illegal or only permitted in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life. By contrast, only 20% support elective abortion after the first trimester, with just 12% wanting it to remain legal up to the end of pregnancy.
On the specific policies that have risen to national prominence over the past year, the public stands even more strongly on the side of life. 68%, including 69% of women and 51% of pro-choicers, oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. And 61% overall want to ban abortion past 20 weeks of pregnancy, including 62% of pro-choicers.
Finally, the public’s cultural values do not align with the abortion-on-demand lobby. 60%, including a third of those who identify as pro-choice, call abortion morally wrong, while 55% overall, and even 27% of pro-choicers, believe that abortions ultimately do more harm than good for women.
“It is time for a new national conversation on abortion, one that begins with this consensus in favor of restrictions,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said, “a consensus that American women and men have already reached, and that includes a majority even of those who call themselves pro-choice.”