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Poll: Post-Roe, Large Majorities of Americans Continue to Favor Substantial Abortion Restrictions

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Last year, the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a supposed constitutional 'right' to abortion. Roe had been criticized as legally flimsy and questionable for many years, even by a number of prominent liberal scholars and experts.  The 2022 Dobbs ruling returns the thorny issue to the states, creating a patchwork of abortion regimes, ranging from restrictive to permissive.  As we approach the anniversary of Roe, which is now defunct, a new Marist poll shows that public opinion remains complex on the issue:


As has been the case for years, Americans broadly oppose a total ban on abortion, but also support significant restrictions on the practice.  Close to 70 percent of the public would impose restrictions on most abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy.  The most prominent Republican stance on the issue is barring most abortions, with certain broadly-supported exceptions.  The prevailing Democratic view these days is limitless abortion-on-demand, financed by taxpayers.  The former position attracts 44 percent of respondents in this poll; the latter draws the support of just one-in-five Americans.  Looking at the cross-tabs, there is virtually no gender gap on this question, with women being slightly less supportive than men of the 'no limits' policy. A 60 percent supermajority also opposes using taxpayer dollars to finance any abortions, with nearly 80 percent opposing taxpayer funds being used to fund abortions overseas (a Democratic policy).  More than three-in-four Americans also reject forcing medical professionals who object to abortion to participate in the performance of abortions.  In a separate poll commissioned by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, mainstream restrictions on abortion enjoy wide support in the blueish-purple state of Virginia:


Key poll findings include:

61% of likely voters support a bill protecting an unborn child after 15 weeks – a point when science shows they can feel pain – with exceptions for rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk.

- Includes 64% of Independents, 55% of Democrats, and 56% of women.

65% of likely voters oppose allowing abortion until the moment of birth.

60% of likely pro-choice voters agree with legislation that limits abortion after 15 weeks.

Earlier this month, House Democrats almost universally voted against an anti-infanticide bill requiring medical attention for babies accidentally born alive during failed late-term abortions.  They also voted -- again, nearly unanimously -- against a resolution condemning a rash of domestic terrorism attacks against pro-life pregnancy centers.  Speaking of which, the FBI has now offered a financial incentive for assistance in solving these criminal cases:


The heavy majority of post-Dobbs abortion-related threats have targeted pro-life organizations.  Democrats refused to condemn this criminal violence being committed by left-wing extremists, a disturbing posture defiantly previewed last year by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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