Elections

New poll: Majority of Americans support abortion restrictions

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a visit to Lindy's Diner in Keene, N.H. on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. Cruz stated that if elected, he would repeal Obamacare, strengthen the border, and toss out the Iranian Deal.
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a visit to Lindy's Diner in Keene, N.H. on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. Cruz stated that if elected, he would repeal Obamacare, strengthen the border, and toss out the Iranian Deal. AP

A majority of Americans support restrictions on legalized abortions, including those who identify themselves as abortion rights supporters, according to a new Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus.

The poll finds that 81 percent of Americans would restrict abortion to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. The Marist survey also shows that 82 percent of women and 66 percent of self-identified abortion rights supporters favor limiting the procedure to the first trimester of pregnancy.

Six in 10 Americans – 61 percent – say they support laws that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother. Sixty-one percent of self-identified abortion rights supporters agreed.

Fifty-one percent – including 50 percent of women - believe health care providers and organizations should have the right to opt out of providing abortion services if they have moral objections.

About four in 10 – 42 percent – disagree, according to the poll.

The survey comes as congressional lawmakers spar over federal funding for Planned Parenthood after the release of secretly-recorded videos that allegedly showed a staffer from the organization discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

Earlier this month, Congress passed a bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which included a provision to defund Planned Parenthood. President Barack Obama vetoed the bill.

On the question of morality, 60 percent of Americans, including 61 percent of women, say abortion is “morally wrong,” according to the poll. Only 33 percent abortion rights supporters share that view.

In addition, 77 percent of Americans – including 79 percent of women and 71 percent of self-identified abortion rights supporters – believe that laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child. Fifteen percent of Americans – or one in five – disagree, according to the poll.

“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 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 of those who consider themselves pro-choice.”

William Douglas: 202-383-6026, @williamgdouglas

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