More than six in 10 Americans say they want the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade to be reinterpreted to allow additional restrictions on abortion, a new survey has found.
A new survey of over 1,066 adults aged 18 and older conducted last week and released on Tuesday asked participants what they would want to happen if the Supreme Court one day reconsiders the 1973 ruling, a possibility that some abortion advocates fear with the slight conservative majority of the bench.
The question posed is one of the newest questions asked of respondents to an 11th-annual Marist Institute for Public Opinion poll conducted for the Catholic fraternal organization Knights of Columbus on abortion rights.
The survey found that 30 percent of respondents say they would like to see abortion kept “legal without restriction,” while 49 percent said they would like states to be allowed to make “certain restrictions” and 16 percent said they think abortion should be made entirely illegal.
“We ended up finding that almost two-thirds, 65 percent, would like the court to reinterpret Roe, revisit that decision in a way that would functionally overturn it,” Knights of Columbus Vice President Andrew Walther told reporters in a press call on Tuesday.
Walther notes the data indicates that nearly half of respondents favor a legal landscape similar to the days before the Roe v. Wade decision when states could decide abortion restrictions for themselves or favor tighter abortion restrictions.
“So you have 65 percent that is looking for something very much different for Roe v. Wade,” he stressed.
Walther added that most polling on Roe v. Wade only asks binary questions about whether a respondent supports the 1973 Supreme Court decision without doing much to go into detail about the individual views on how the ruling should be changed or upheld.
“It is a different set of answers when you ask [just] the brand name,” Walther explained. “What we have found both with the … and now with this question with the Supreme Court, when you ask people what they think, the answers you get taking away the labels [of pro-choice and pro-life] are really interesting in terms of policy prescriptions or desire for jurisprudence that would be very different from what a snapshot-label-type question would give you.”
In previous Marist/Knights of Columbus surveys, respondents have been asked where they stand on a six-point spectrum when it comes to the issue of abortion.
Just 15 percent of adults say they believe abortion should be “available to a woman at any point during the pregnancy,” a position more in line with that of 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the abortion industry. Only 9 percent of respondents said they think abortion should be legal during the first six months of pregnancy.
As the U.S. is one of seven countries in the world that allows abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, 27 percent said they think abortion should only be allowed during the first three months of pregnancy while 28 percent said that abortion should only be legal in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
Ten percent said abortion should be legal only to save the life of the mother and another 10 percent said abortion should “never be permitted under any circumstance.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith