Abortion-on-demand proponents insist most Americans believe in the unfettered right to abortion.
A new poll finds a majority of Americans believe there is a limit.
Private polling firm Cygnal’s latest poll on presidential candidates and an array of issues finds 56 percent of respondents support a federal abortion limit of 15 weeks. Another 23 percent oppose such restrictions, and 21 percent are unsure.
Interestingly, the poll finds a plurality of Democrats support a 15-week limit on abortion.
That’s a different message than a lot of liberals would have you believe.
Democrats brag that they staunched the expected “red wave” in the 2022 midterm elections thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling some four months before overturning Roe v. Wade. A year after the high court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, Democrats continue to bank on sweeping support of wide-ranging abortion protections.
“This extremism across the country on reproductive freedoms will cost Republicans the House majority,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Suzan DelBene told NBC News in June.
There’s no doubt the ruling ginned up engagement from abortion-supporting voters. But those on the political left who believe Americans at large want the kind of abortion-on-demand protections they’re really pitching would seem to be overplaying their hand.
Contrary to their blustering, the congressional Democrats who supported 2022’s failed Ensuring Access to Abortion Act and the interestingly named Women’s Health Protection Act” support the legalization of abortion up to birth.
During the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary, nearly every candidate effectively supported unlimited access to abortion, according to The Washington Post,
Not much had changed in the Democratic Party’s position on unfettered abortion since the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton twice vetoed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
But the average American voter isn’t down with the kinds of unlimited abortion protections many Democrats are angling for as they excoriate limitations on abortion in a growing number of Republican-led states.
A NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll from earlier this year found nearly two-thirds of respondents believe abortion should be limited to the first three months in pregnancy. Nearly nine in 10 Republicans and three-quarters of independents believe abortion should be restricted to three months or less. That poll also found 42 percent of Democrats want to see limits on abortion.
Only 10 percent of voters support abortions up to the moment of birth, according to a Harvard-Harris poll taken after the Supreme Court ruling.
The NPR story on the Marist poll, published in late April, insists Republicans in red states are “overplaying their hand politically.”
Much of the so-called mainstream media cheered along with Democrats in Ohio, who did a victory lap over the defeat of Issue 1. The measure would have raised the threshold for amending the state Constitution from a bare majority to 60 percent — a mark that would be much more difficult for pro-abortion voters to achieve in enshrining wide-ranging abortion rights.
But beyond the liberal glee of the moment remains an opportunity for Republicans to reset the message, pundits say, exposing the vulnerability on the Left’s ultimate goal of unfettered abortion rights beyond what most Americans believe to be acceptable. Many Republican presidential candidates have called for federal limits on abortion at 15 weeks. Based on the polling numbers, that position would appear to be in line with how a lot of voters feel.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America has advocated for all Republican presidential candidates to support a limit on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“Pro-life leaders are building a culture of life, protecting unborn children, and providing vital support for moms and families,” SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “We’re not even close to done yet. The pro-life movement will press on to save more lives in the states and push for a federal gestational protection so that California, Illinois, New York and others cannot continue their extreme abortion-on-demand policies that mirror what occurs in North Korea and China.”
Sam Kay, a pollster and elections analyst for OnMessage, asserts there is a winning strategy for Republicans on abortion, but it will take money, message discipline, and a clear policy platform. In a June opinion piece for Newsweek, Kay noted Republicans were outspent on abortion advertising 45 to 1. Democrats controlled the abortion debate. They still do.
“Instead of creating a platform that discusses reasonable limitations, supports mothers, and clarifies the party’s desire for exceptions—areas where Republicans are competitive—overwhelming Democratic money ensures the debate is all about Republican extremism,” Kay wrote. “The GOP will need to commit substantially more resources to shift the conversation and prevent Democrats from misrepresenting their positions.”
“The American people largely support reasonable limits on abortion. They just need to know that that’s what Republicans are fighting for.”
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Pro-Life Supporters” by Elvert Barnes. CC BY-SA 2.0.