The Knights of Columbus and Marist released their annual comprehensive poll on American attitudes on abortion. Alexandria DeSanctis examines the findings:
Fifty-one percent of the 2,617 respondents surveyed identified as pro-choice, compared with 44 percent who identified as pro-life. Interestingly, 25 percent of Democrats surveyed called themselves pro-life, as did 41 percent of independents.
Only 12 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be available to women at any time during pregnancy. Meanwhile, 76 percent support significant abortion restrictions, including limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy, to cases involving rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. Six in ten Americans who call themselves pro-choice also reported supporting these types of restrictions. In fact, only 21 percent of Democrats said they support abortion at any stage of pregnancy, while more than six in ten Democrats support placing strict limitations on abortion rights. Almost 80 percent of independents back similar limitations.
One such limitation currently being considered by Congress is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks based on research showing that fetuses have the capacity to feel pain at that stage of development. This poll reports that 63 percent of Americans support a 20-week abortion ban, an increase of 4 percent support from last year’s survey. This figure includes more than half of those who identify as pro-choice and more than half of Democrats.