Recent Polls Show Measurable Shift To Pro-Life Attitudes
WASHINGTON (May 5, 2006)—According to recent nationwide opinion polls, support for Roe v. Wade is waning.
Deirdre McQuade, Director of Planning and Information at the USCCB's Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, notes that "public opinion has moved progressively away from supporting unqualified access to abortion."
"This is a real sign of hope," she said, "for both women and their unborn children."
A May 4 Harris poll — which misleadingly asked about support for Roe v. Wade as if that decision made abortion legal during only the first three months of pregnancy — found that support has dropped below 50% for the first time in 30 years. It also showed that 44% of Americans said they would support a law in their own state like South Dakota's, banning all abortions except to save the mother's life.
"An April 2006 survey by the Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend found that 54% support limiting legal abortion to the extreme circumstances of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother," Ms. McQuade said, "and an additional 21% would limit abortion to only the first trimester – a far cry from the abortion license established by Roe v. Wade, which allows abortion for virtually any reason throughout the nine months of pregnancy."
In March, a Zogby poll found majority support for abortion regulations such as informed consent laws for women and parental notification laws, with 69% favoring such measures for girls under 17 years old.
"We expect that Americans will continue to trend pro-life as they learn more about abortion and its impact on women, men, and society," Ms. McQuade said.