Most New Yorkers Oppose Late-term Abortion Says Poll

April 1, 2019 Updated: April 1, 2019

A majority of New York state residents oppose late-term abortion, new poll results have found.

Released on March 28, the latest Marist Poll, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus (K of C) not-for-profit organization, found most New Yorkers are uncomfortable with limiting abortion to anything beyond the first three months of pregnancy.

Sixty-two percent of respondents opposed late-term abortion and strongly supported abortion restrictions, even though just 34 percent of them said they were pro-life and against the act of deliberately terminating a human pregnancy.

People surveyed were against abortion after 20 weeks by a margin of 75 percent to 20 percent. This included 71 percent who would ban abortion after 20 weeks and 4 percent who would ban the procedure altogether.

“New Yorkers simply do not support laws that allow late-term abortions,” K of C CEO Carl Anderson said in a statement. “It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite opposition by the majority of New Yorkers, and by a majority of those who identify as Democrats, Republicans, and independents.”

K of C surveyed a random sample of 981 adults living in New York state via phone using live interviewers between Feb. 25 and March 4, 2019.

The data reflects similar results of a national survey from February that found that 71 percent of Americans oppose abortion after 20 weeks to a 25 percent margin.

In addition to this, 63 percent of New Yorkers believe abortion should be considered to be “generally illegal” in the last trimester of pregnancy compared to 32 percent who think it should be “generally legal.”

When presented with a range of choices to describe their position on abortion, two-thirds said they would limit abortion to—at most—the first trimester of pregnancy. Only 21 percent would allow it in the last trimester.

Nationally, 8 in 10 Americans would similarly limit abortion to the first three months of pregnancy.

The research presents public perceptions being very much at odds with the Reproductive Health Act, which the New York State Senate passed on Jan. 9 and controversially allows abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, if there is an “absence of fetal viability or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”

The law has sparked a debate about how abortion should be regulated, with the New York State Right to Life (NYSRTL) slamming the rules as “horrific” because they offer “no protection for unborn children in the state of New York.”

“I have got a fire in my belly and it’s time to double down on fighting this,” NYSRTL Chair Christina Fadden told the BBC.

Fadden does not accept any official explanation that the legislation is a necessary amendment to the state’s law, and still believes allowing abortions beyond the 24-week mark is “inhumane.” She also fears regulatory moves to make abortion a “fundamental right” for New York women will only bring a “pro-life viewpoint suppression.”

Since the Reproductive Health Act took effect, the high number of people who contacted NYSRTL offering to volunteer has “overwhelmed” the not-for-profit based in Albany, New York.

“We are still formulating our response but we have to double our efforts,” Fadden said.

Archdioceses of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan previously described the legislation as “ghoulish, grisly, and gruesome,” and “not good for our country.”

According to Dolan, he receives “wheelbarrows full of letters every day” asking him to take tough action against the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing the legislation even though he is also a Catholic.

However, Dolan believes excommunicating Cuomo or taking any similar religious action would be “counterproductive.”

“It would give ammo to our enemies who would say this is an internal Catholic disciplinary matter,” Dolan told Fox News, according to the BBC.