WASHINGTON — An overwhelming majority of U.S. adults support
restrictions on abortion — such as requiring parental consent — that are
commonly implemented on the state level, according to a new Gallup poll.
The poll of 1,020 adults found that:
- 87 percent support laws requiring doctors to “inform patients about certain
possible risks of abortion before performing the procedure.”
- 71 percent back laws requiring those under 18 to obtain parental consent
before getting an abortion.
- 69 percent support laws requiring women to wait 24 hours before obtaining an
- 64 percent support laws making it illegal to perform a partial-birth
The laws in the four questions found majority support from Republicans,
Independents and Democrats.
The rest of the poll had good news and bad news for the pro-life community.
While U.S. adults think third-trimester abortions (86-10 percent) and
second-trimester abortions (71-24 percent) should be illegal, they believe
first-trimester abortions should be legal, 62-35 percent. The second-trimester
data is particularly good news for pro-life groups who are in the middle of a
major push to pass state laws prohibiting abortion at 20 weeks on the basis
that the unborn child feels pain.
Gallup found less support and even
opposition when asking about three other specific laws.
By a 50-46 percent margin, U.S.
adults support laws that would require a woman seeking an abortion to be shown
an ultrasound. Yet adults (51-46) oppose laws that would allow pharmacists and
health providers to opt out of “providing medicine or surgical procedures that
result in abortion.” Adults (57-40) also oppose laws “prohibiting health
clinics that provide abortion services from receiving any federal funds.” That
latter question references moves by some states — and even Congress — to
prohibit money going to Planned Parenthood. LifeNews.com theorized that the
question was “worded in a way that might make respondents concerned about
hospitals losing federal funding — which is not normally the case under such
The poll was conducted July 15-17.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.)