Poll: Most Americans, Including a Third of Democrats, Support Limits on Abortion

By Matthew Vadum
Matthew Vadum
Matthew Vadum
contributor
Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist and a recognized expert in left-wing activism.
May 18, 2022 Updated: May 19, 2022

Most Americans want strict limits on when women may obtain abortions, according to a new poll conducted by The Trafalgar Group days after a leaked draft majority opinion indicated the Supreme Court was poised to strike down Roe v. Wade.

The poll results come as Americans await the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The draft first reported on May 2 indicates the court will use the Mississippi case to strike down Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 precedent that swept away state laws and made abortion legal across the country. The members of the Supreme Court are scheduled to meet for their weekly conference on May 19, but it’s unclear when the Dobbs ruling will be formally released.

The poll (pdf) of more than 1,000 likely 2022 general election voters was carried out May 6 through May 8. The poll is considered to have a margin of error of 2.99 percent.

Despite widespread pro-abortion rights protests, including outside Supreme Court justices’ homes, Americans haven’t rallied to the defense of the Roe ruling, the group that commissioned the poll suggested.

“The left is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to create the perception that a majority of Americans support unrestricted abortion,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action. Convention of States Action is leading an effort to have the states call for a new constitutional convention that would produce amendments that, if passed, would restrain the powers of the federal government.

“But as these numbers show, American voters–including more than a third of Democrats–have paid attention to the science of fetal development and support a variety of restrictions on abortion,” Meckler said in a statement.

According to the poll, 57.6 percent of the voters who participated in it believe that abortion should only be legal in specific circumstances.

Of the voters who say abortion should be allowed only in specific circumstances: 24 percent say it should be unlawful except in the case of rape, incest, or when childbirth would jeopardize the life of the mother; 13.9 percent say it should be illegal except when childbirth would jeopardize the life of the mother, and 19.7 percent say it should be against the law after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The poll also found that 30.8 percent of voters believe that abortion should be lawful in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and that 11.6 percent of voters believe that abortion should be legal up until the moment of birth, including so-called partial-birth abortions.

The views of independent voters on abortion aren’t substantially different from the views of generic voters.

According to the poll, 54.6 percent of the voters responding to it believe that abortion should only be legal in specific circumstances.

Of independent voters who say abortion should be allowed only in specific circumstances: 21.6 percent say it should be unlawful except in the case of rape, incest, or for the life of the mother; 15.1 percent say it should be illegal except when childbirth would jeopardize the life of the mother, and 17.9 percent say it should be against the law after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The poll revealed that 33.8 percent of independent voters believe that abortion should be lawful in the first and second trimesters and that 11.5 percent of voters believe that abortion should be legal up until the moment of birth, including partial-birth abortions.

The poll found that 81.5 percent of Republican voters believe abortion should only be legal in specific circumstances.

Of those Republicans who say abortion should be allowed only in specific circumstances: 35.7 percent say it should be unlawful except in the case of rape, incest, or for the life of the mother; 23.1 percent say it should be illegal except when childbirth would endanger the life of the mother, and 22.7 percent say it should be against the law after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The poll revealed that 14 percent of Republican voters believe abortion should be lawful in the first and second trimesters and that 4.5 percent of voters believe that abortion should be legal up until the moment of birth, including partial-birth abortions.

Democratic voters are stronger supporters of abortion rights.

The poll found that 35.9 percent of Democrats believe that abortion should only be legal in specific circumstances.

Of those Democrats who say abortion should be allowed only in specific circumstances: 14.2 percent say it should be unlawful except in the case of rape, incest, or for the life of the mother; 3.5 percent say it should be illegal except when childbirth would endanger the life of the mother, and 18.2 percent say it should be against the law after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The poll revealed that 45.3 percent of Democratic voters believe abortion should be lawful in the first and second trimesters and that 18.8 percent of voters believe that abortion should be legal up until the moment of birth, including partial-birth abortions.

Matthew Vadum
contributor
Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist and a recognized expert in left-wing activism.