When it comes to the issue of abortion, many Americans would perceive it to be a divisive issue where people chose sides: pro-life or pro-choice. But, a new poll shows more unity and compromise on abortion than previously thought — even among millennials.
The findings of Knights of Columbus/Marist’s 2016 poll is appropriately titled “Going Beyond Labels.”
During the poll’s release, which Red Alert Politics attended, the pollsters focused on a misconception that those who identify as pro-choice support abortion throughout an entire pregnancy. The poll results show something else. For instance, 81 percent of Americans — which includes 66 percent of pro-choicers — would restrict abortion to the first three months of pregnancy.
During the poll’s release, it was also mentioned that millennials “substantially” support limiting abortion; 76 percent support limits, which is similar to the 8 in 10 figure of Americans overall.
The results from the Marist/Knights of Columbus poll are consistent with the ideal that millennials are a pro-life generation.
Marist provided Red Alert Politics with the breakdown for the millennial generation. Respondents were given the following options regarding the legality of abortion:
- Abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her pregnancy: 13 percent of millennials
- Abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of a pregnancy: 12 percent of millennials
- Abortion should be allowed only during the first three months of a pregnancy: 22 percent of millennials
- Abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother: 31 percent of millennials
- Abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother: 11 percent
- Abortion should never be permitted under any circumstance: 12 percent
The pollsters also mentioned that more pro-choicers support what many would consider to be the pro-life side of the abortion issue. This is relevant in several questions including:
- The 71 percent of pro-choicers say that abortion laws can protect both mother and child, which 77 percent of Americans overall agree with
- The 51 percent of pro-choicers oppose taxpayer funding, which is a view held by 68 percent of Americans
- The 62 percent of pro-choicers support a 20-week ban on abortion, which is a view similarly held by 61 percent of Americans
Even where pro-choicers do not make up a majority, they still come out for restrictions in significant numbers, including:
- The 27 percent of pro-choicers who say abortion ultimately does a woman more harm than good, which is the view of 55 percent of Americans
- The 33 percent of pro-choicers who believe that abortion is “morally wrong,” which is a view held by 60 percent of Americans
- The 34 percent of pro-choicers who would allow health care providers and organizations with moral objections to opt-out of abortion service, which is a view held by 51 percent of Americans
A new release gives information on the methodology:
The survey of 1,686 adults was conducted Nov. 15-22, 2015, by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the continental United States were interviewed in English and Spanish by telephone using live interviewers. Results for adults are statistically significant within ±2.4 percentage points. The error margin increases for cross-tabulations.