WASHINGTON, D.C., August 2, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For the second time in two weeks, a poll finds that most Catholics in the United States believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. A new Quinnipiac poll found that born again evangelicals were far more likely to support the right-to-life than any other religious group in the United States. However, the results varied dramatically based on church attendance.
The survey, released on Friday morning, found that 54 percent of Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 43 percent support the right-to-life in all (10 percent) or most cases.
Last week a Washington Post-ABC poll, taken in the wake of the murder convictions of Philadelphia “house of horrors” abortionist Kermit Gosnell, found that 50 percent of American Catholics generally favored abortion, albeit with restrictions.
Born again evangelical Christians were most likely to say abortion should be illegal in all cases (23 percent), and another 36 percent opposed abortion in most cases: 59 percent. Only eight percent of evangelical Protestants believe abortion should be legal in all cases, less than half the overall national result.
The poll revealed that those who attend church services weekly are far more pro-life than less faithful church-goers. The percentage among Protestants and Catholics who assemble frequently is indistinguishable (61 percent for Sunday go-to-meeting Protestants, 60 percent for Catholics who meet their weekly obligation to attend Mass).
A recent poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 89 percent of Jewish people say “abortion should be legal in all or most cases,” 17 points higher than those who have no religion (72 percent).
The poll also found broad support for Republican “fetal pain” laws such as the one recently passed in Texas, which restrict abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
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Women and young people were more likely than men to believe that 20 weeks, or roughly five months, gave pregnant women more than enough time to decide whether to carry their babies to term.
That feeds concerns from supporters of abortion-on-demand that Roe v. Wade will be revised or repealed. “I think we are going to see Roe overturned,” said Karen O'Connor, a political science professor at American University who describes herself as pro-choice, last week. “I'm thinking 2015.”
The 1973 ruling held that a woman's “right to privacy” could be restricted at the moment of a child's viability. But polls have consistently shown that most Americans – including most women – believe viability should not be the only restriction on abortion. Increasingly, fetal pain is being considered a valid reason to restrict the timing of a termination.
Quinnipiac found that 60 percent of women and 50 percent of men back the “fetal pain” provision.
“Taken as a whole, it’s pretty clear that women are broadly supportive of the ban — and they support it in bigger numbers than men,” Aaron Blake of The Washington Post wrote. “It’s also clear that overall support for abortion rights is not a good proxy for opposition to abortion restrictions. People who think abortion should be legal, in many cases, are quite open to new restrictions.”
Some 56 percent of political moderates, who generally believe abortion should be available, also backed the provision.
“This common-sense 'divisive' restriction on aborting viable, pain-capable unborn children wins strong backing from women (60/25), independents (59/26), and Hispanics (59/20). Respondents aged 18-29 were most likely to support the ban (56 percent in favor) out of any age group surveyed,” Guy Benson of HotAir.com wrote. “Misogynistic extremists, all.”
Blake concluded, “If and when Republicans in the Senate push for a vote on the 20-week abortion ban (which already passed in the House), they can credibly make the case that they are doing something that women support.”