A surprising 71 percent of Americans who describe themselves as “pro-choice” actually favor significantly restricting abortions, a new nationwide survey reveals.
The poll of nearly 1,800 people was conducted for the Knights of Columbus by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion. It found that 43 percent of pro-choice respondents would restrict abortion to the first trimester, and 23 percent would restrict it only to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
Supreme Knight Carl. A. Anderson said the survey results indicate that “the term ‘pro-choice’ — when applied broadly — needlessly polarizes the discussion of abortion and masks the fact that there is broad consensus among Americans that abortion should be significantly restricted.”
The poll also found that only 8 percent of respondents overall believe abortion should be available to a woman at any time during her pregnancy, 8 percent said abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of pregnancy, and 24 percent said abortion should be permitted only during the first three months.
But 32 percent said abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest of to save the life of the mother, and 15 percent would allow it only to save the life of the mother.
A significant number, 13 percent, said abortion should never be permitted under any circumstances.
On other issues, the survey conducted by the Catholic organization found that Catholic voters share similar views with the general population. For example, 70 percent of registered voters and 70 percent of registered practicing Catholics say they would vote for a candidate who believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Similarly, 71 percent of Americans and 73 percent of U.S. Catholics believe “the country’s moral compass right now points in the wrong direction,” according to a release from the Knights of Columbus.
But Catholics do differ from the electorate as a whole on other issues. They are less likely to vote for a candidate who favors the death penalty, and more likely to back a candidate who is committed to success in the war on Iraq.
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