By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This ran on January 22, the 43rd anniversary of the noxious Roe v. Wade decision.
Each year, right around the annual March for Life, the Knights of Columbus releases the results of a poll on abortion conducted for the KOC by the highly respected The Marist Institute for Public Opinion. The KOC asks slightly different questions which help the average citizen get a feel for where the American public is on dimensions of the abortion issue that aren’t often probed.
The latest survey, commissioned the second week in January, included 2,079 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. Because the survey is huge, the margin of error is small: +/- 2 percentage points.
What do we learn? Here are seven primary results.
#1. A total of 59% believe that abortion should be available only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of mother (32%); only to save the life of the mother (14%); or not permitted under any circumstances (13%). If you add only available during the first three months (25%), the total becomes 84%.
#2. 64% believe there are too many abortions; 7% believe there are too few.
#3. 60% think abortion is morally wrong, while only 38% think it is morally acceptable.
#4. A pair of questions Marist asks each year for the KOC which are always intriguing. A whopping majority does not believe in the either/or perspective: 84% says laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the life of her unborn child. Moreover 59% view abortion as doing more harm to women than believes abortion does women good (22%).
#5. What about parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion? 78% approve.
#6. Taxpayer funding of abortion? 68% oppose, 28% approve.
#7. And by a margin of 20 points (57% to 37%) “Americans support proposed legislation that would permit medical professionals and organizations to refuse to provide abortions or refer patients for abortions.”