Majority Rejects Dem Abortion Extremism

New poll finds Biden could lose support over taxpayer abortion funding flip-flop

Pro-life advocate | Getty
June 26, 2019

American voters reject the extreme abortion positions that leading Democratic presidential contenders have embraced in the run-up to the primary.

A poll of more than 1,000 Americans conducted by McLaughlin & Associates found that 55 percent of likely general election voters oppose the use of taxpayer funding of abortion. Voters are very concerned about the issue with more than 40 percent saying they "strongly oppose" the practice—only 38 percent of those polled said they supported it either "somewhat" or "strongly." A substantial number of Democrats continue to oppose the practice, despite the fact that the party added taxpayer funding to its platform in 2016. The poll found that 35 percent of Democrats and nearly 60 percent of self-identified independents said they do not approve of taxpayer-funded abortions.

The issue has taken center stage in the Democrat primary fight after frontrunner Joe Biden reversed his four-decade support of the Hyde Amendment, which barred federal dollars from being used to pay for abortion, after repeated criticism from his 2020 rivals. Biden's about-face on the Hyde Amendment could cost him among voters in the general election. Only 37 percent said the decision would make them more likely to support a Biden candidacy compared with 50 percent who said it would dissuade them from pulling the lever for the former vice president.

The poll was commissioned by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and conducted between June 18 and 24. The sample size focused more on general election prospects than the Democrat primary itself, though Democrats enjoyed a 3-point advantage over Republicans in the poll. Independents made up 31 percent of those polled.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, executive director of the SBA List, said that Democratic presidential hopefuls should take note of the general public's attitude on abortion, rather than follow the radical measures supported by abortion giants, such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

"Joe Biden’s flip-flopping in support of taxpayer funding of abortion is a big vulnerability with voters in the general election, especially with independents and even some Democrats," she said in a statement. "Joe Biden’s support for taxpayer funding of abortion after decades of opposition is just the latest example of Democratic extremism on abortion."

President Trump has indicated he will make abortion a centerpiece of his reelection campaign. He used his Florida kickoff rally to criticize the Democrats’ embrace of late-term abortion laws in New York, Illinois, and other liberal states.

"Virtually every top Democrat also now supports taxpayer-funded abortion right up to the moment of birth—ripping babies straight from the mothers' womb," Trump told rallygoers in Orlando. "Leading Democrats have even opposed measures to prevent the execution of children after birth."

His administration has already delivered several pro-life victories, including conscience protections for objecting doctors and nurses, as well as cutting off funding for controversial experiments using organs harvested from aborted babies. Those types of policies enjoy broad support, according to the McLaughlin poll. Only 28 percent of respondents approved of taxpayer-funded experimentation using aborted body parts or cells compared with 57 percent of likely voters who oppose.

Dannenfelser said the poll reflects that Trump is closer to the American public on the issue than any of his challengers.

"While President Trump has led the charge to protect babies from infanticide and late-term abortions as well as stopping taxpayer-funded experiments with aborted baby body parts, measures which have broad support from the American people, Democratic candidates for president pander to the abortion industry and have uniformly doubled down on extremism," she said. "This new poll is compelling evidence they will pay a political price outside of their radical base."

The Democratic debates are scheduled to begin Wednesday evening.