A new Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll released on January 27, 2021, found that the majority of Americans continue to support restrictions on abortion. The poll also found that the percentage of Americans who oppose the taxpayer funding of abortion has increased.
According to the poll, 76% of Americans, including many who consider themselves to be “pro-choice,” favor restrictions on abortion. This is an increase of six percent since January 2020. Of that 76%, 25% said abortion should be restricted to the first three months of pregnancy, 28% said abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life, and 11% said abortion should only be legal to save the mother’s life. It’s important to note that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life or health of the mother. Only 15% of Americans overall and 27% of those who identify as “pro-choice” said they support abortion for any reason up until birth as Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton allow.
When asked which came closest to the person’s opinion of what the Supreme Court should do if it reconsiders Roe v. Wade, the poll also found that 48% of Americans believe abortion restrictions should be determined by each state — which is what would happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Of respondents, 31% said they would want abortion to be legal without restrictions throughout pregnancy — which is what would happen if Roe v. Wade were to be codified — and 17% said they think abortion should be criminalized.
These findings show that President Joe Biden’s plan to codify Roe v. Wade and ensure abortion is legal for any reason throughout pregnancy is not in line with two-thirds of Americans’ opinions on abortion.
Additionally, 77% of those who participated in the poll said they either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” the use of taxpayer dollars to support abortion overseas. This is up two percent from previous polling. Notably, 55% percent of Democrats polled said they do not support funding international abortions. Of those who consider themselves “pro-choice” — whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent — 64% said they oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund international abortion.
President Biden has announced he will eliminate the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal tax dollars from funding organizations that promote or commit abortion overseas — clearly an unpopular opinion, even within his own political party.
As for abortions within the United States, 58% of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, according to the poll. Currently, the Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer dollars from funding abortion through programs such as Medicaid. Though every president has supported the Hyde Amendment since its introduction in 1976, Biden has vowed to eliminate it.
Additional results of the poll show that 70% of Americans oppose abortion due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome — including 56% of those who consider themselves “pro-choice.” In addition, 80% of those surveyed believe that laws can exist that protect both mother and child.
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