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New Polls Find Americans Overwhelmingly Pro-Life, But Many Reject That Label

Josh Shepherd : Jan 18, 2019  The Stream

Three in four Americans support abortion restrictions after three months of pregnancy. Yet experts weigh in on why approximately half as many self-identify as "pro-life."

[Stream.org] Fully 75 percent of Americans support limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy—or greater restrictions, a new Maris Poll revealed Tuesday. Yet, consistent with Gallup and other surveys, the opinion firm's in-depth study shows only 38 percent currently self-identify as pro-life. (Screengrab image: via March for Life)

"This weekend, you have the March for Life," said Barbara Carvalho, director of The Marist Poll, on a conference call with reporters. "You also have the Women's March. It's characterized as being one side or the other side."

"What we hope to provide through this research is [to show] there is a lot of common ground."

Where US Laws Stand Today

March for Life president Jeanne Mancini, who will serve as the cheerful emcee as thousands gather for the annual march this weekend, told The Stream that media reporting rarely looks at the nuances in public opinion.

"It depends on how you ask the question," she said. "If you ask about abortion limitations, people's policy preferences are not reflective of the law of our land. This shows public opinion is definitely shifting in the direction of life."

Currently, the Supreme Court decisions Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) allow abortions to be performed up to birth in many instances. In 2007, a national ban on the partial-birth abortion procedure was upheld.

Further, states have been empowered to ensure some standard of care through informed consent, safety regulations, and other policies. Pro-choice research group Guttmacher Institute reports that 424 pro-life laws have been enacted in the states since 2010.

"Is public opinion 100 percent pro-life?" Mancini asked. "No. But is it moving in the right direction? Yes. And that's how we change hearts and minds."

Science and Accuracy

The annual survey has long been sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. The world's largest Catholic civic organization, the Knights were recently criticized by certain Democratic members of Congress.

Since 2007 the Knights have partnered with the Marist Poll, known for its work with NBC News, NPR, and other mainstream outlets. Marist used the latest U.S. Census survey as a guide.

"These results are balanced to reflect the American population," stated Carvalho. "The survey is balanced by age, gender, region, income, and race. We check those demographic characteristics to ensure our survey reflects what the population of the U.S. looks like."

Despite some positive findings, pro-life advocates also found gaps in public backing and knowledge of their cause. While 54 of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, 39 percent support this policy. In addition, 35 percent of Americans believe a fetus is "part of a woman's body" while 56 percent acknowledge it as a unique life... Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

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