(CNSNews.com) -- A new survey shows that while 51% of Americans describe themselves as "pro-choice," 56% say abortion is "morally wrong" and 76% want "significant restrictions" on abortion.
The poll was conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion for the Knights of Columbus, and used the findings of two surveys, one from Dec. 4-7, 2017 and the second from Jan. 8-18, 2018. Marist interviewed 2,617 adults by telephone for the surveys. The margin of error was +/- 2.8 percentage points.
The survey showed that 44% of Americans identify as "pro-life" and 51% identify as "pro-choice." Another 4% are "unsure." These numbers are essentially the same as they were in October 2008 -- 44% pro-life and 50% pro-choice.
However, when asked whether they believe that, "in general, abortion is morally acceptable or morally wrong?" 56% said abortion is "morally wrong," according to the survey. 41% said abortion is "morally acceptable, and 3% said it was not a moral issue.
Only 12% of Americans said that abortion should be "available to a woman any time during her entire pregnancy." Also, only 11% said abortion should be available "during the first six months of a pregnancy."
The other 76% supported some major restrictions on abortion -- 26% say abortion "only during the first three months of pregnancy"; 30% say "only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother"; 12% said abortion "only to save the life of the mother"; and 8% said abortion "should never be permitted under any circumstace."
“It is hardly surprising that after 50 million abortions in this country, an overwhelming majority of the American people want substantial limits,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “This survey shows clearly that the ‘pro-choice’ label can no longer be assumed to mean support for abortion on demand. Nor can abortion be thought of as a partisan issue since majorities of Democrats, Independents and Republicans all agree that it should be substantially restricted."
"It is high time that our political debates reflected this national consensus and used it as a starting point," said Anderson.
Other findings from the survey showed that 63% of Americans "support/strongly support" banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except to save the life of the mother.
Also, 64% of Americans believe it is "morally wrong" to abort a child because he or she has a genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome. Only 26% said it ws morally acceptable to kill a baby with a genetic disorder.
In addition, 60% "oppose/strongly oppose" using "tax dollars to pay for an abortion."
To read the entire survey, click here.