- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A hefty majority of Americans - including a majority of those who consider themselves pro-choice - support “substantial abortion restrictions”, says a new Marist Poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and released Tuesday.

The survey found that 81 percent of Americans and 66 percent of those who identify as pro-choice would restrict abortion to - at most - the first three months of pregnancy. Eighty two percent of women agree with that. The pollster says these findings have been consistent for the last eight years.

In addition, 55 percent of American overall agree that “abortion ultimately does a woman more harm than good”; 56 percent of women and 27 percent of pro-choice advocates agree. Six in 10 Americans - including 61 percent of women - say abortion is “morally wrong.” One-third of pro-choice Americans agree.

Another 77 percent overall - including 79 percent of women and 71 percent of pro-choice supporters - say that laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child. Seventeen percent of Americans overall, 15 percent of women, 23 percent of pro-choice identifiers disagree.

“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 new 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 even of those who call themselves pro-choice.”

More numbers from the poll:

68 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion; the findings includes 51 percent of those who consider themselves pro-choice.

61 percent overall support laws that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother. The percentage was the same for pro-choice supporters (62 percent).

51 percent overall believe health care providers and organizations should have the right to opt out of providing abortion services if they have moral objections. “Notably, even one-third (34 percent) of those who identify as pro-choice would protect the right to opt out,” the poll analysis stated.

 Source: A Marist Institute for Public Opinion/Knights of Columbus survey of 1,686 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 15-22, 2015 and released Tuesday.

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