A mid-February poll found that for the first time in 10 years, the percentage of Americans who were pro-life had risen to tie the percentage of Americans who were pro-choice.
The results of the Marist poll, which is sponsored and funded in partnership with The Knights of Columbus, showed a stunning show of growth for the pro-life movement, as a January Marist poll found pro-choicers with a huge edge: 55% to 38%.
Barbara Carvalho, director of The Marist Poll, noting that the enormous shift toward a pro-life position was led by Democrats and people under the age of 45, asserted, “Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way. The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public. In just one month, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice.”
Democrats soared from 20% being pro-life in the January poll to 34% in February. The gap among younger Americans closed powerfully; in January 65% identified themselves as pro-choice with 28% identifying as pro-life, but in February 47% of them identified as pro-life and 48% identified as pro-choice.
As The Knights of Columbus pointed out, “This is the first time since 2009 that as many or more Americans have identified as pro-life as have identified as pro-choice. More than a third of Democrats (34 percent) as well as two-thirds of Republicans (67 percent) identify as pro-life. Independents divide (46 percent pro-life, 48 percent pro-choice).”
The February poll also discovered that 71% of Americans disapprove of third-trimester abortions, including 60% of Democrats, 72% of independents and 85% of Republicans. 71% of respondents strongly opposed late-term abortion after 20 weeks. Of that 71%, roughly two-thirds want abortion banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is endangered.
Dramatic events have taken place in the last two months that have stimulated Americans to take a fresh look at the issue of abortion. New York passed a bill essentially allowing the killing of babies up until birth in January, prompting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to order the World Trade Center to celebrate by bathing itself in pink; Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed letting a mother decide after a baby is born whether the baby should be allowed to live; Vermont legislators started considering a bill regarding abortion that had no qualifications at all as to the limits of when abortions could be performed, and Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would require physicians to provide treatment for babies born alive after unsuccessful abortions.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NB) who sponsored the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act that was rejected by the Democrats, said, “Are we a country that protects babies that are alive, born outside the womb after having survived a botched abortion? That is what this is about. Are we a country that says it’s okay to actively allow that baby to die — which is the current position of federal law? That’s the question before us, plain and simple.”