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Nationwide Poll Shows 84% of Americans Favor Significant Restrictions on Abortion

71% of self-described pro-choice voters would significantly restrict abortion

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new nationwide poll shows that 35 years after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, public support for the court's unrestricted access to abortion throughout an entire pregnancy stands at just 8%. The poll was conducted for the Knights of Columbus by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion between September 24 and October 3, 2008, and was designed to enable comparisons of the views of Catholic voters with those of the general electorate.

The poll asked respondents to state which of six statements came closest to describing their opinion on abortion.

-- 8% of US residents chose option 1, that abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy;

-- 8% chose option 2, that abortion should be allowed only during the first 6 months of pregnancy;

-- 24% chose option 3, that abortion should be allowed only during the first 3 months of pregnancy;

-- 32% chose option 4, that abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother;

-- 15% chose option 5, that abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother; and

-- 13% chose option 6, that abortion should never be permitted under any circumstance.

The poll also revealed that only 15% of those describing themselves as "pro-choice" favored unrestricted abortion throughout a pregnancy. 71% of pro-choice respondents said they would significantly restrict abortions. Of these 43% would restrict abortion to the first trimester and 23% would restrict abortion only to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson described the poll results as "indicative of the fact that term 'pro-choice' - when applied broadly - needlessly polarizes the discussion of abortion and masks the fact that there is broad consensus among Americans that abortion should be significantly restricted."

SOURCE Knights of Columbus
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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