Analysis

Two polls: Overwhelming majority of Americans support significant abortion restrictions

Mexico, abortion, ultrasound

A Louisiana admitting privileges law is set to be heard by the Supreme Court in March, and it — along with other similar laws putting abortion restrictions into place — have become the latest battleground for the abortion industry. Convinced that restrictions on abortion are anti-woman and destroy a woman’s ability to get an abortion, activists have been loudly railing against so-called “TRAP” laws at every turn. Yet what do Americans actually think? New polls once again have found that the vast majority of respondents overwhelmingly support heavy restrictions on abortion.

Marist poll: 70% want abortion limited to first trimester — including almost half of pro-choicers

First, a new Marist poll found that 70 percent of respondents support significant restrictions, including limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy (first trimester) only. What’s notable is that this includes 47 percent of people who identify as “pro-choice.” The poll, which was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, has been running for 12 years. The number of people who support abortion restrictions have been consistent each year.

“Pro-choice people still are supportive of significant restrictions on abortion to, at most, three months during pregnancy,” Barbara Caravalho, director of Marist, told America Magazine. “When we look at this issue, like many issues that we see in the public debate, it’s one side versus the other side. What is reality, and I think the abortion issue is a very clear example of this, is that Americans have a very nuanced understanding of the issue and want their public policy to reflect that as well.”

Other findings include that a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion (60 percent) and eugenic abortion for Down syndrome (65 percent), and support mandatory ultrasounds before abortion (52 percent).

READ: Analysis: Abortion restrictions, not contraceptives, reduce abortion rate

Kaiser poll: Majority favor requiring admitting privileges, waiting periods, and informed consent laws

The Washington Post highlighted another poll, this time from the Kaiser Family Foundation. While abortion activists have pointed out that a large majority did say they wanted abortion to remain legal, the Post noted that an almost equal majority favored heavy restrictions. 69 percent favor laws requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortionists — like the law in Louisiana. 66 percent support waiting period laws, and 57 percent support informed consent laws, which require abortionists to show and describe ultrasounds to the mother before committing the abortion.

None of this is entirely unusual; polling has shown for a long time that Americans largely support things like higher medical standards for abortion facilities, as well as other restrictions. Turning these common-sense restrictions into a fabricated “attack on women” is nothing more than intellectual dishonesty.

Americans may want abortion to remain legal, that much is true — but they don’t want it to be widespread, and they want it to have stringent limits. Pushing for anything else is acting based on an agenda, and not reality.

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