Democratic presidential candidates have eagerly embraced radical pro-abortion stances, but two-thirds of Americans want to vote for political candidates who favor "significant restrictions" on abortion, according to a recent poll.
The annual Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus showed that 55 percent of Americans identify as pro-choice. However, 70 percent of the country, including nearly half of self-described pro-choice respondents, oppose all abortions or believe they should be permitted only during the first 12 weeks, in medical emergencies, or in cases of rape or incest.
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The data do not bode well for the leading Democratic presidential candidates, all of whom espouse ambitious pro-abortion policy platforms. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) wants to install a federal statutory right that "parallels the constitutional right in Roe v. Wade" and prohibit states from restricting abortion in later months of pregnancy. Former vice president Joe Biden also capitulated to a progressive outcry last year and committed himself to oppose the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion through Medicaid.
Most Americans oppose these policy positions put forth by the presidential contenders, according to the poll. Three-in-five Americans want the Supreme Court to reinterpret Roe v. Wade to either abolish all abortions or allow states to impose certain restrictions on abortion, and 60 percent of the country opposes the use of taxpayer money to fund abortion. Support for such restrictions crosses ideological lines, including many people who want abortion to remain legal.
"The variation of what people mean when they say pro-choice runs the gamut from so-called abortion-on-demand to really substantial restrictions," Andrew Walther, vice president of the Knights of Columbus, said during a press call. "So, that label as an indicator of position is largely meaningless."
President Donald Trump has enacted several pro-life policies in office. He has reinstated the Mexico City policy, which prohibits government funding to NGOs that promote abortion abroad. He has also prohibited recipients of federal Title X family planning programs from advising patients to seek abortion except in case of rape, incest, or medical emergency. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, dropped out of the program, rather than comply.
The general public tends to support Trump’s policy on abortion. For example, more than 75 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries.
The survey found that pro-life Americans are more likely than their pro-choice counterparts to consider a presidential candidate’s abortion stance as a "major factor" when deciding their vote. Furthermore, while 78 percent of Democrats identify as pro-choice, more than two-in-five of them support some sort of "significant restriction" on abortion.
Pollsters interviewed more than 1,200 adults across the United States in early January. The results are statistically significant within a margin of 3.7 percent.