National Catholic Reporter

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Poll shows majority of Americans OK with abortion restrictions

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WASHINGTON -- A poll taken for the Knights of Columbus and Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., indicates a strong majority of Americans continue to want restrictions on abortion.

According to the poll, 79 percent of those surveyed said they would not allow abortion after the first three months of pregnancy. And 51 percent said they would allow abortion only in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother's life -- or not at all.

The poll's numbers are almost unchanged from a similar poll taken two years ago.

The survey responses were released in Washington Jan. 23, the date of this year's March for Life.

According to the poll results, 84 percent said they believe that laws can protect both the life of the unborn and the health and well-being of women. This is up from 81 percent from the 2010 survey.

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"Almost four decades after the Supreme Court's decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which resulted in the almost totally unrestricted abortion regime of today, these decisions continue to be out of step with the vast majority of Americans," said a Jan. 23 statement by Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus.

"Far from being settled law, the inadequacy of the court's reasoning on abortion in Roe and Doe is readily apparent to most Americans. Once a survey moves beyond the labels of pro-life and pro-choice, we see a fundamental unity among Americans in favor of significant abortion restrictions," Anderson said.

The abortion questions were part of a broader survey, the results of which will be released in February.

The telephone survey, conducted Dec. 15-27, was based on the responses of 1,053 adults living in the continental United States. The results have a margin of error within plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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