Most pro-choice adults oppose late-term abortion, denying newborns care: Poll

February 12, 2019 GMT

Even most pro-choice Americans oppose late-term abortion, according to a newly released poll, putting them at odds with the Democratic push for state legislation removing barriers to third-trimester procedures.

A survey conducted by with the pro-life group Americans United for Life found that 66 percent of U.S. adults who identify as pro-choice opposed third-trimester abortions, and 68 percent oppose abortions the day before a baby is born.

As expected, the opposition was stronger among all adults surveyed: 79 percent rejected late-term abortion, and 80 percent opposed day-before-birth abortion.

In addition, 82 percent of all those surveyed disagreed with withholding medical care for a viable newborn, including 77 percent of pro-choice adults.

“This survey vividly reveals both the American people’s common-sense appreciation for the sanctity of life and the widespread horror, even among self-identified pro-choice Americans, of new laws like New York’s that effectively allow abortion up until the moment of delivery,” AUL President and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster said in a statement.

Governors in New York and Virginia have touched off an outcry in recent weeks over their support for late-term abortion bills as state Democrats seek to pass sweeping pro-choice legislation as a bulwark against potential pro-life rulings from judges appointed by President Trump.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appeared to endorse infanticide when he suggested in a Jan. 30 interview that a baby delivered alive after a botched abortion would be resuscitated “if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue.”

“If a mother is in labor ... the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother...” Americans United for Life (@AUL) February 1, 2019

House and Senate Republicans have sought this month to fast-track legislation making it a crime to refuse medical treatment to a newborn born alive after an abortion, but the drive has been blocked so far by Democrats.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland has said that the bill should proceed through the normal committee process, while Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, said there are already U.S. laws banning infanticide.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, that eliminated limits on late-term abortions, removed abortion from the criminal code and allowed non-physicians to perform the procedure.

The New York law allows abortion after 24 weeks’ gestation in the absence of fetal viability or to protect the “patient’s life or health,” which under the 1973 Supreme Court case Doe v. Bolton includes health factors such as “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age.”

Mr. Trump blasted the law last week in his State of the Union address, condemning the cheers during the signing ceremony, after which Mr. Cuomo penned an op-ed accusing Republicans of trying to “end all legal abortion in our nation.”

Other expansive abortion bills are pending in New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The latest survey appeared to contradict the results of a Siena College Research Institute poll released Monday that found New Yorkers support the abortion bill by 47 to 32 percent, but that poll only asked if they thought the Reproductive Health Act would be good or bad for New York without further details.

Rush of progressive legislation that has moved through the Democratic-controlled New York Legislature and signed into law by @NYGovCuomo since January 9 sees generally positive reaction, according to Siena College poll Luke Parsnow (@coolhand_luke88) February 11, 2019

The poll of 1,145 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 6-7 found that 53 percent identified as pro-choice and 47 percent as pro-life.