A new poll confirms that a substantial majority of Americans support significant restrictions on abortion, as the U.S. Senate reportedly will vote on a pain-capable abortion ban this month.
Marist has released its latest survey on the abortion debate in time for the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The nationwide poll found that only a slim majority of Americans, 51 percent, consider themselves pro-choice, while 44 percent say they are pro-life. As Guy Benson notes for Townhall, “This gap has narrowed considerably from last year’s poll, in which ‘pro-choice’ held a (56/39) advantage.”
Despite the slight majority of “pro-choice” Americans, more than three in four Americans — including six in ten who say they are “pro-choice” — favor “significant restrictions on abortion,” including banning abortions after the first trimester. Support for these restrictions crosses party lines, with 61 percent of Democrats, 92 percent of Republicans, and 78 percent of Independents in favor of legal restrictions on abortion.
Of particular relevance to Congress is that more than six in ten Americans support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The 20th week of gestation is the point at which an unborn child can feel pain in the womb. In Europe, most countries have banned abortions after this point, and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that creates a 20-week abortion ban, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
Last week, the Washington Examiner reported that the Senate would vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act sometime this month. The legislation would penalize abortionists who perform abortion procedures after 20 weeks with up to five years in prison and/or fines. President Trump said in a statement that if the bill passes, he would sign it into law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has previously said that the abortion ban has the support of “virtually” all Republicans in the Senate, but this means the bill would still fall short of the 60 votes it needs to pass with Democrats opposed.
It is important to have this vote anyway. As the Marist poll also shows, a majority of Americans, 56 percent, believe abortion is morally wrong. More than six in ten Americans (62 percent) believe that life begins within the first three months of pregnancy, inside that 20-week threshold. The American public is being persuaded toward the pro-life position.
The extreme, unrestricted abortion-on-demand position of the Democratic party is well outside mainstream American thought. There are ten pro-abortion Democrats up for re-election in states that Donald Trump won in 2018, more than enough senators to reach the 60 votes needed to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Have the vote. Make these vulnerable Democrats take a extreme position, on the record, and bash them over the head with their own radicalism in the 2018 midterms.
When Republicans run on the issues, they win. But to do it, they need to demonstrate that their governance will move the needle on the issues Americans care about. This is a prime opportunity to do just that.
Now get it done.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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