WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2014 ( – A new poll shows an increasing number of Americans support laws requiring a mandatory waiting period before a woman can have an abortion.

According to the Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen, 49 percent of Americans support waiting periods for women to have abortions. Thirty-nine percent oppose a waiting period, and 11 percent are uncertain. Support for a waiting period is up by six percent since October 2013, when opposition and support were tied at 43 percent

Pro-life leaders praised the results of the poll.


“Protecting the lives and health of mothers and their unborn children from abortion industry abuses is a national trend as state office holders roll back the deadly impact of Roe v. Wade,Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest told “Support for waiting periods is a common-sense approach to a life-changing procedure that cannot be reversed and should not be pushed on vulnerable women.”

Susan B. Anthony List spokeswoman Mallory Quigley told that “an increasing number of Americans support common ground measures” such as mandated waiting periods. Mallory said such laws ensure “women have ample time to weigh all the facts before [getting an] abortion.”

In 2013, 27 states required a waiting period, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Only two states, South Dakota and Utah, require a waiting period of 72 hours. All of the rest have shorter time periods, though many require in-person counseling before having the abortion – something South Dakota does not mandate.

More Americans have self-identified as pro-life than pro-choice in six of the last nine Gallup polls. The question, Gallup has asked since 1995, did not seen pro-life receive more support than pro-choice until 2009.

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An August 2013 Pew survey found that 23 percent of Americans found abortion morally acceptable, whereas 49 percent of Americans did not.

Planned Parenthood, which has sued in the past to stop state-based waiting periods, says on its website that its opposition is based on a variety of factors, especially because waiting periods “result in increased expenses, travel difficulties, and medical risks.”

Planned Parenthood sued South Dakota in 2012 for its 72-hour waiting period, but dropped the lawsuit in December 2012.