Pro-life group says new poll demonstrates support for 15-week abortion ban
Ultrasound scan of 15 week-old baby / Allo4e4ka/Shutterstock
Washington D.C., Jun 7, 2021 / 13:01 pm (CNA).
A national pro-life group says that its new poll of likely voters demonstrates support for a 15-week abortion ban.
The survey of likely voters, conducted by OnMessage Inc. and released on Monday by the Susan B. Anthony List, revealed that a majority voters were “more likely” to support restrictions on abortions after 15 weeks once they learned that unborn babies at that age can feel pain, have beating hearts, and can move around in the womb.
“The majority of voters reject late-term abortion and the Democratic candidates who shamefully advocate for it,” stated Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, on Monday.
“At 15 weeks, unborn children can feel pain, and most European countries limit abortions at this point. There is strong support among the American people for our nation’s laws to finally catch up with science and international norms,” she said.
Among the poll’s key findings, 55% of likely voters said they were “more likely” to support a 15-week abortion ban once they learned the unborn child has the capacity to feel pain at that age.
Of those surveyed, 53% said they would be “more likely” to support such a law if they knew the unborn child has a beating heart at that age, and can perform certain movements including thumb-sucking and closing fingers.
The survey was conducted from May 25-27 via telephone, and asked questions of likely general election voters. It was led by long-time Republican pollster Wes Anderson.
The poll was released after the Supreme Court agreed to hear a critical abortion case involving Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court is considering the question, “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” Oral arguments in the case are expected in the fall.
Some legal experts have said that the case presents the greatest chance in decades to substantially alter or reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
In the Roe decision, the court established “viability,” or the age the unborn child is determined to be able to survive outside the womb, as the cutoff point for when states could ban abortions or enact strict regulations.
Professor Gerard Bradley, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, wrote in the National Catholic Register that the court’s decision to accept the case signals a willingness by the justices to establish a new line for when abortions can be banned.
“The court will instead almost certainly hold that some ‘pre-viability’ prohibitions of abortion are constitutionally permissible, including Mississippi’s 15-week line of separation,” Bradley wrote.