Tags: poll | abortion | morally wrong

Most Americans Believe Abortion Is 'Morally Wrong'

Image: Most Americans Believe Abortion Is 'Morally Wrong' Pro-Life demonstrators rally at the annual March for Life on the National Mall in Washington on Jan. 22.

By Drew MacKenzie   |   Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 03:28 PM

An overwhelming number of Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong, according to a new survey.

The Marist Poll sponsored by The Knights of Columbus found that 62 percent of people surveyed thought that abortion was "morally wrong," regardless of whether they thought "'access to abortion" should be legal.

The study of 2,001 adults showed that 36 percent of Americans believe abortion is "morally acceptable" while 2 percent did not think it was a moral issue at all.

Although Americans appear to be equal on both sides of that issue, a majority of 68 percent say that life begins within the first three months of conception with 53 percent of them stating that it actually starts upon conception. Eight percent said life begins between three and six months after conception and 11 percent after six months, while 10 percent said life starts at birth.

When the respondents were asked whether they were for abortion or against it, 50 percent said they were pro-choice and a similar number, 46 percent, said they were pro-life.

Nevertheless, the poll revealed that an astounding number of people, 73 percent in total, believe that abortion should only be allowed in the first three months of pregnancy, or in the case of rape and incest, or to save the life of a mother. Another 11 percent said that abortion should not be permitted under any circumstances.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 66 percent, who believe in abortion restrictions, say they would like the Supreme Court to hand down a ruling supporting such limits. And 55 percent of Americans think that abortion is an important issue and should continue to be debated while 43 percent say the debate has gone on too long and it's time to move on.

Many Americans are in favor of changing the law so that certain controls are placed on abortion. Eighty percent supported a law requiring a parent to be notified before their underage daughter is allowed to have an abortion.

Marist said that 74 percent backed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks or five months of pregnancy except to save the life of the mother. And 37 percent agreed that tax dollars should be used to pay for a woman's abortion if she cannot afford it.

The study also found that 57 percent of people surveyed thought that having an abortion "does more harm than good" to a woman while 21 percent believe that it "improves a woman's life."

The poll was conducted from December 10-15, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

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