Polls: Bipartisan ‘Unity’ on Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding of Abortion in U.S. and Abroad

pregnant woman and ultrasound fetus
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Two national polls show Americans share bipartisan unity on prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, both in the United States and abroad, as well as on backing abortion restrictions.

The annual Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll survey released Wednesday found most Americans support restrictions on abortion and oppose the government spending their tax dollars on abortions within the country and overseas. Another poll from Students for Life of America (SFLA) also found young Americans are more pro-life than portrayed in pop culture.

The polls are published as President Joe Biden has made “unity” a central theme of his administration, yet has already indicated he will implement the most radical abortion agenda the nation has ever seen. His agenda will reportedly include revoking the Mexico City Policy to allow U.S. funding of abortions abroad and repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding provision added to funding bills that bars taxpayer monies for abortions within the country.

The Marist Poll found 77 percent of Americans either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” the use of taxpayer funds for abortions overseas, an uptick of two percentage points from the 75 percent who responded similarly in the last two annual polls. Of those who oppose taxpayer funding of abortions abroad, 55 percent are Democrats, 95 percent are Republicans, and 85 percent are independents.

Only 19 percent of Americans say they either “support” or “strongly support” taxpayer funding of abortions outside the U.S.

Additionally, even among those who identify as “pro-choice,” 64 percent say they oppose the use of their tax dollars to support abortion overseas.

Within the U.S., 58 percent of those surveyed say they oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 31 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of Republicans, and 65 percent of independents.

The Marist Poll also found more than three-fourths of Americans (76 percent) back significant restrictions on abortion, including a majority who identify as “pro-choice.”

“While the number of people who identify as ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ tends to fluctuate with the public debate, when given a broader choice of policy options, there is a strong consensus among Americans on abortion,” said Dr. Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll. “Survey results reveal support for abortion restrictions and an aversion for use of taxpayer funding for abortions abroad.”

Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, commented on the poll’s findings:

Amidst the harsh political divides in our country, clear bipartisan majorities support abortion restrictions and do not want their tax dollars paying for abortion abroad. Our polling has shown consistently over the past decade that policies that promote abortion on demand paid for by taxpayers are divisive and out of step with American public opinion.

“The American people show consensus and restraint on this issue, and we hope that our elected officials and policy makers will heed this call for unity when there is far too much that divides us in our politics today,” he added.

The Marist Poll surveyed 1,173 adults between January 11-13, via landline or mobile numbers. The sample was balanced to reflect the 2017 American Community Survey one-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region. Results are statistically significant within ±3.5 percentage points.

Another new survey from Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) Institute for Pro-Life Advancement found Millennials and Generation Z individuals (ages 18-34) are more pro-life than reported in mainstream and pop culture media.

According to the survey, 48 percent of Americans in this age group oppose taxpayer-funded abortion within the U.S., while 53 percent oppose funding abortions abroad.

Additionally, since its survey two years ago, SFLA found support for reversing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that created a right to abortion, has risen six percentage points, from 51 percent in 2019 to 57 percent in 2021.

According to SFLA, in 2021, “57 percent to 30 percent oppose Roe when they learn it allows for abortion through all 9 months.”

The organization representing young pro-life Americans noted this demographic “is widely reported as being almost entirely in support of abortion as it is allowed through Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton – through all 9 months, for any reason whatsoever, and sometimes with taxpayer funding.”

SFLA President Kristan Hawkins said:

As an organization of mostly Millennials and Gen Z, we’ve been frustrated by all the sweeping statements made about our views on the human rights issue of the day. And as the age range most targeted for abortion, the views of Millennials an Gen Z on an industry that has ended the lives of one-quarter of our generation are extremely relevant. Far from embracing Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Party Line, Millennials and Gen Z have a more nuanced view of abortion that embraces a number of pro-life positions: Limits on abortion and taxpayer funding were supported, Reversing Roe was acceptable; and Voting on abortion policy embraced.

Hawkins added the number of survey participants opposing Roe and Doe “nearly doubled after learning more about what the law allows.”

“This number is extraordinary considering Planned Parenthood claims that Roe is popular and that 77 percent of the American people oppose reversing it, which would simply return the issue of abortion to the states where the people could have a voice and a vote on life-related policy,” she explained.

“When they learn about what Roe v. Wade actually does, Millennial and Gen Z oppose it,” Hawkins asserted.

The SFLA survey was conducted by The Polling Company between January 7–11 among 800 registered voters between the ages of 18 and 34. Participants self-identified as Republican (30 percent), Democrat (36 percent), and independent (34 percent). The margin of error is ± 3.46 percent.

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