Majority of Americans favor restricting abortion at 20 weeks, according to new Post-ABC poll
By Juliet Eilperin and Scott Clement, Published: July 25 at 7:00 am
By a margin of 56 to 27 percent, more Americans say theyâ€™d prefer to impose limits on abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy rather than the 24-week mark established under current law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Another 10 percent surveyed in the poll volunteered they would prefer to outlaw abortion in the United States altogether or limit it earlier than 20 weeks after fertilization. At the same time, however, 54 percent say they oppose state laws that make it more difficult for abortion clinics to operate; compared to 45 percent who support such legislation. (See graphic below for a breakdown of results, and here for interactive polling data).
The findings come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in states across the country are pushing to ban abortions earlier and impose new requirements that make it harder for abortion clinics to operate. Under the Supreme Courtâ€™s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, abortions can be performed until the point when an individual doctor determines a fetusâ€™s viability, which is generally defined as up to 24 weeks of gestation. After that point, the government can prohibit the procedure so long as it provides safeguards for the motherâ€™s health and well-being.
The poll suggests that significant support exists for banning abortions earlier in a womanâ€™s pregnancy, but far less for instituting onerous restrictions for abortion providers.
Bob Millsaps, an 80-year-old retiree in Bristol, Va., said he would ideally like to ban abortion except in cases of rape and incest, and prefers a 20-week ban to one starting at 24 weeks. But he added he opposes requirements, including one now in effect in Virginia, requiring abortion clinic operators to â€œupgrade the clinics to hospital standards. Thatâ€™s forcing them to not having any abortions at all.â€?
More broadly, overall support for legal abortion remains stable, with 55 percent saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 41 percent say it should be illegal in most or all cases. That finding is similar to a 2012 Post-ABC poll and surveys in recent years.
The poll was conducted July 18 to 21 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. Results from the full poll have an error margin of 3.5 percentage points.
By more than a 2 to 1 margin â€” 66 to 30 percent â€” Americans say they prefer that abortion laws be decided for all states on the basis of the U.S. Constitution, rather than a state-by-state approach. This applies to both hard-core abortion rights supporters and opponents: 73 percent of those who say abortion should always be legal want a national rule, as do 72 percent of those who say it should be illegal in all cases.
But on a practical level, the ground rules for abortion are being rewritten on the state level, where 50 new restrictions have been adopted since January, according to the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute. A dozen states have adopted laws banning abortion 20 weeks after fertilization or earlier, but three have been struck down and two, in North Dakota and Texas, take effect in the coming weeks. Seven are now in effect, in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Earlier this month, for example, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed legislation into law that bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, restricts medication abortions and requires all abortions take place in fully equipped surgical centers.
Such measures have cheered abortion opponents such as Nita Wallace, who lives in the Fort Worth area and has her own business. Wallace, who said she opposes the procedure because â€œGod is the maker of life,â€? said religious Americans such as herself made a mistake in the past because â€œthey didnâ€™t get involved in politics so much, and now theyâ€™re realizing they lost ground by doing that.â€?
â€œWhatâ€™s ground zero for making decisions? It used to be the Ten Commandments,â€? Wallace said, adding that media accounts have misled the public into thinking abortion enjoys broad support. â€œI believe a lot of the American public, especially women, they have this idea that the majority of people embrace abortion.â€?Â Continue reading...
The following are 19 facts about abortion in America that should make you very sickâ€¦.
#1 There have been more than 53 million abortions performed in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided back in 1973.
#2 When you total up all forms of abortion, including those caused by the abortion drug RU 486, the grand total comes to more than a million abortions performed in the United States every single year.
#3 The number of American babies killed by abortion each year is roughly equal to the number of U.S. military deaths that have occurred in all of the wars that the United States has ever been involved in combined.
#4 Approximately 3,000 Americans lost their lives as aÂ
result of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers
Â on 9/11. Every single day, more than 3,000 American
Â babies are killed by abortion.
#5 It has been reported that a staggering 41 percent ofÂ
all New York City pregnancies end in abortion.
#6 According to Pastor Clenard Childress, approximatelyÂ
52 percent of all African-American pregnancies now end
Â in abortion.
#7 One very shocking study found that 86 percent of allÂ
abortions are done for the sake of convenience.
#8 According to the Guttmacher Institute, the average costÂ
of a first trimester abortion at the ten week mark is $451.
#9 The average cost of a vaginal birth with no complications in the United States is now over $9,000.
#10 A Department of Homeland Security report that was released in January 2012 says that if you are â€œanti-abortionâ€?, you are a potential terrorist. Unfortunately, there have also been other government reports that have also identified â€œanti-abortionâ€? protesters as potential threats.
#11 A while back one Philadelphia abortionist was charged with killing seven babies that were born alive, but witnesses claim that he actually slaughtered hundreds â€œof living, breathing newborn children by severing their spinal cords or slitting their necks.â€?
#12 Some abortion clinics have been caught selling aborted baby parts to medical researchers.
#13 Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger once said the followingâ€¦.
â€œThe most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.â€?
#14 In a 1922 book entitled â€œWoman, Morality, and Birth Controlâ€?, Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger wrote the followingâ€¦.
â€œBirth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.â€?
#15 Planned Parenthood performs more than 300,000 abortions every single year.
#16 Planned Parenthood specifically targets the poor. A staggering 72 percent of Planned Parenthoodâ€™s â€œcustomersâ€? have incomes that are either equal to or beneath 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
#17 There are 30 Planned Parenthood executives that make more than $200,000 a year. A few of them make more than $300,000 a year.
#18 Planned Parenthood received more than 487 million dollars from the federal government during 2010.
#19 The following is one description of the five steps of a partial birth abortionâ€¦.
1) Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the babyâ€™s legs with forceps.
2) The babyâ€™s leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
3) The abortionist delivers the babyâ€™s entire body, except for the head.
4) The abortionist jams scissors into the babyâ€™s skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the skull.
5) The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The childâ€™s brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.