Following the successful Pro-Life elections in November, many state legislators are sponsoring measures designed to reduce the number of abortions. On March 10th, a new Rasmussen telephone poll revealed that most Americans support these measures and believe that they are likely to help lower abortion rates.
The motivating issue behind the survey was a new Pro-Life law passed in South Dakota requiring women to wait three days and participate in adoption counseling before committing an abortion. Rasmussen discovered that 65% of adults surveyed supported such a waiting period and counseling, 24% opposed these requirements, and 11% are undecided. This majority shows that most Americans understand when dealing with the life and death decision of abortion it is understandable to require a period of reflection and counseling.
Even more revealing is the fact that most Americans believe that when required to wait and receive counseling before an abortion many women will choose Life. The poll shows that 65% believe waiting periods and counseling are at least somewhat likely to reduce the number of abortions. This includes 33% who believe these requirements are very likely to lower abortion rates. On the opposite side, 30% say the requirement is unlikely to reduce abortions.
Another question asked in the national survey was regarding the Sonogram Bill passed in the Texas State Legislature. This legislation would require that an ultrasound be performed on every woman before an abortion. Rasmussen found that 48% favor the measure, 38% are opposed, and 14% are undecided. It is interesting to note that 62% believe that a Sonogram Bill would likely lower abortions, including 32% who say it is very likely.
The poll also included some interesting information about political parties and Pro-Life legislative measures. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans identified themselves as Pro-Life, while 67% of Democrats identified themselves as pro-choice. The poll found that 82% of Republicans favored the waiting period law. While that is not a surprising statistic, it is more revealing that 50% of Democrats also support the waiting period law. This again illustrates that when dealing with such an irreversible and devastating decision as abortion, even some pro-choice individuals support a period of discernment and counseling.
The new Rasmussen poll shows that the Culture of Life is succeeding in changing hearts and minds. Most Americans support measures that they believe not only will give women a chance to contemplate their decision, but also will ultimately lower abortion rates. A majority of Americans want to give women every opportunity to choose life. Pro-Life activists and organizations should be very proud of this new poll. It should also serve as an inspiration to keep lobbying all state governments to pass strong and enforceable Pro-Life laws.