Poll: Dramatic Shift to Pro-Life Side Among Democrats and Young People

By Michael W. Chapman | February 25, 2019 | 1:17 PM EST

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(CNSNews.com) -- A new, national survey on the heels of legislation in New York and Virginia to allow abortion up to the moment of birth shows a major shift to the pro-life side among Democrats and young people, according to the Marist College for Public Opinion and the Knights of Columbus. 

The Feb. 12-17 survey revealed that in just one month, the number of Democrats who identified as pro-life shifted from 20% to 34%. Also, the number of Democrats identifying as "pro-choice" fell from 75% to 61%. That's a 14-percentage point swing in only four weeks. 

For Americans age 45 and younger, the shift was from 28% identifying as pro-life four weeks ago to 47% today; the percentage of young people who said they were "pro-choice" fell from 65% to 48%.

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So, today, 47% of young people identify as pro-life vs. 48% who say they are "pro-choice."

“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of The Marist Poll, in a statement.

"In a substantial, double-digit shift, according to the poll, Americans are now as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as pro-choice (47 percent)," reads the statement. "Just last month, a similar survey conducted by The Marist Poll found Americans more likely to identify as pro-choice than as pro-life by 17 percentage points (55 to 38 percent)."

“The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public,” said Carvalho. “In just one month, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice.”

The Marist Poll also found that overwhelming majorities of Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- oppose late-term abortions. Sixty percent of Democrats, 72% of Independents, and 85% of Republicans said they oppose abortion in the third trimester (after 24 weeks of pregnancy).

In addition, very strong majorities oppose abortion after 20 weeks (5 months) of pregnancy -- 59% of Democrats, 78% of Independents, and 82% of Republicans said no to such procedures.

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"In addition, the poll found that 80 percent of Americans would like abortion limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy -- an increase of five points since just last month," said the survey firm.  "This includes 65 percent of those who identified as pro-choice, as well as strong majorities of Democrats (64 percent), Republicans (92 percent) and independents (83 percent)."

“Arguments in favor of late-term abortion are simply not convincing the American people,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “If anything, since these proposals have been unveiled, people are moving noticeably in the pro-life direction. It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite the opposition of the majority of Americans of both parties.”

"This survey of 1,008 adults was conducted Feb. 12 through Feb. 17, 2019 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with The Knights of Columbus," according to the polling group. "Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English or Spanish by telephone using live interviewers." The margin of error was +/- 3.5 percentage points. 

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman

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