Marist Poll Finds Consensus Beyond Narrative in Americans' Views on Abortion

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Jan 19, 2016 5:30 PM
Marist Poll Finds Consensus Beyond Narrative in Americans' Views on Abortion

Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal benefits organization, has partnered with Marist Poll for 8 years in order to gauge Americans’ views on abortion. The results have been surprisingly consistent. Despite the media insisting on placing the country into an endless boxing match of pro-choice vs. pro-life, the newest Marist survey proved that there is a consensus when it comes to restricting the procedure. Knights held a press conference at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tuesday morning to discuss the findings.

Marist interviewed about 1,700 adults nationwide this November, well after the Planned Parenthood undercover video investigation, to determine whether or not the polarizing abortion narrative was a bit exaggerated. The labels were just about split: 51 percent referred to themselves as “pro-choice,” while 44 percent chose the title “pro-life.” What the pollsters discovered, however, was that Americans are more unified than you might think when we go beyond these labels:

The survey found that more than 8 in 10 Americans (81 percent), including women (82 percent) and nearly two-thirds of pro-choice supporters (66 percent), would restrict abortion to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy. The answer to this question has been approximately 8 in 10 since the survey was launched in 2008.

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. Only about 1 in 5 (17 percent of Americans, 15 percent of women, 23 percent of pro-choice identifiers) disagree.

Most interestingly, perhaps, is the discovery that those who call themselves pro-choice were much more likely to support abortion regulations than pro-lifers were to support pro-choice positions.

“All of the movement is from the pro-choice side,” Patrick Kelly of the Knights of Columbus said.

The results, Marist Poll Director Barbara Carvalho concluded, prove that we have to “look past the taglines” to people’s actual opinions on the matter.

Your pro-choice friend’s opinion, you may discover, may mirror your own.