By Dave Andrusko
Each year, right around the time of annual March for Life, the Knights of Columbus releases the results of a poll on abortion conducted for the KOC by The Marist Institute for Public Opinion. The KOC asks slightly different questions which help the average citizen get a much more accurate sense for where the American public is on various dimensions of the abortion issue. And that most definitely includes a truth often hidden: there are commonsense limitations a sizeable minority of pro-choicers can and will agree with.
Released today, the latest survey of 1,686 adults was conducted Nov. 15-22, 2015. And because the survey is so large, the margin of error is small: +/- 2.4 percentage points. What follows are five highlights. (The poll can be read in its entirety here.)
#1. Before getting into specific types of legislation, note that the KOC/Marist poll found far more Americans–55% to 30%– who say that abortion ultimately does a woman more harm than good. Among those who identify as pro-choice, 27 percent share this view.
Likewise on the issue of whether abortion is “morally wrong”: overall 60% agree it is morally wrong (including 61% of women) as do a third (33%) of pro-choicers.
#3. What about tax payer funding of abortion and laws such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which ban abortions on babies old enough to experience horrific pain when aborted–20 weeks, if not earlier?
Whereas pro-abortion Hillary Clinton assures the Abortion Established she wants to abolish the Hyde Amendment, “nearly 7 in 10 Americans (68 percent), including 69 percent of women, oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” according to the summary of the KOC poll. “This includes 51 percent of those who consider themselves pro-choice. Fewer than 3 in 10 Americans (29 percent) support it.”
In addition, “more than 6 in 10 Americans (61 percent), including 60 percent of women, support laws that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother. “ Significantly, “The percentage was the same for pro-choice supporters (62 percent).”
#4. A total of 57 % of the 1,686 adults 18 and older would allow abortion only in instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother (32%); only to save the life of the mother (13%); or not at all (12%).
Another 24% would allow abortion only during the first three months–making for an overall total of 81%. And
#5. “Additionally, 77 percent of Americans, including 79 percent of women and 71 percent of ‘pro-choice’ supporters, say that laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child.”
“Year in and year out since we began polling on this issue, the American people have understood that the law can protect mother and child alike and have expressed a strong consensus in favor of abortion restrictions,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “It is time for a new national conversation on abortion — one that begins with this consensus in favor of restrictions: a consensus that American women and men have already reached, and that includes a majority even of those who call themselves pro-choice.”