Marist Poll: 'Dramatic Shift' Among Americans on Abortion

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The latest Marist Poll has found Americans are equally likely to identify as pro-life as pro-choice, a double-digit shift from just last month, Axios reports.

Marist, in a poll commissioned by the Catholic group the Knights of Columbus, asked respondents about their views on abortion and compared the results to a similar poll from last month.

  • February poll: 47 percent pro-choice, 47 percent pro-life.
  • January poll: 55 percent pro-choice, 38 percent pro-life.

The poll also found most Americans, 80 percent, think abortion should be restricted to the first three months of a pregnancy.

Both New York and Virginia have passed measures on abortion in recent weeks, primarily concerning late-term abortion, which Marist Poll director Barbara Carvalho credits with changing Americans’ attitudes on abortion.

“The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public,” Carvalho said in a press release.

“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way,” she continued.

The most significant shift, according to Carvalho, was found among young Democrats.

  • February: 34 percent of Dems under 45 identify as pro-life, 61 percent as pro-choice.
  • January: 20 percent identified as pro-life, 75 percent as pro-choice.

“This has been a measure that has been so stable over time,” Carvalho told Axios. “To see that kind of change was surprising. And the increased discussion [of late-term abortion] in the public forum in the past month appears to have made the biggest difference in how people identify on the issue.”

Marist surveyed 1,008 adults from Feb. 12 to Feb. 17 by phone, with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.


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