According to a new poll from Marist, Americans’ attitudes on abortion have dramatically shifted over the last month. Americans are now as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as they are pro-choice (47 percent). A similar survey taken by Marist just last month found Americans were more likely to identify as pro-choice than as pro-life by a 17-point difference.
Even more surprising is the sudden change in younger Democrats’ views on abortion. February’s poll of Democrats under the age of 45 found that 34 percent identify as pro-life, and 61 percent as pro-choice. This is a significant increase compared to last month’s 20 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
This surge in pro-life Americans comes after several states have passed or pushed for radical policies advocating for unlimited access to abortion, at any stage of gestation, for any reason or no reason at all. The survey was conducted Feb. 12-17, just weeks after New York passed the Reproductive Health Act, expanding access to post-viability, third-trimester abortions, and repealing protections for aborted children older than 20 weeks who are born alive. A proposed bill in Virginia would allow abortion up until the point of birth, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed giving doctors and mothers the power to decide whether an infant lives or dies after it is born. Last week, the Vermont House passed an even more extreme version of the New York RHA.
“The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of The Marist Poll. “In just one month, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice.”
Marist has been polling abortion views for more than a decade. Carvalho said this is the first time since 2009 that as many or more Americans have identified as pro-life as have identified as pro-choice.
The survey also found an overwhelming opposition to late-term abortions. Seventy-one percent of Americans say abortion should be generally illegal during the third trimester of pregnancy, and 71 percent strongly oppose late-term abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, approximately when babies can be delivered as preemies and survive.
Despite polling and public opinion, Democrats don’t seem to be acknowledging the warning signs, or their now “pro-life” constituents. After trying to walk back his comments, Northam doubled-down on Jan. 31, declaring “I don’t have any regrets.”
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote today on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would protect newborns who survive botched abortions by requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital. Earlier this month, when Sen. Ben Sasse, the author of the bill, asked for unanimous consent to the legislation, he was blocked by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. Perhaps today’s vote will once again expose just how radical the ;eft has become on abortion.
With late-term abortion sure to become a hot topic in 2020, the growing divide between radical abortion advocates and voters’ more moderate beliefs is not something the Democratic Party can ignore much longer.