By a margin of 56 to 27 percent, more Americans say they’d prefer to impose limits on abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy rather than the 24-week mark established under current law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.Read the rest here.
Another 10 percent surveyed in the poll volunteered they would prefer to outlaw abortion in the United States altogether or limit it earlier than 20 weeks after fertilization. At the same time, however, 54 percent say they oppose state laws that make it more difficult for abortion clinics to operate; compared to 45 percent who support such legislation. (See graphic below for a breakdown of results, and here for interactive polling data).
The findings come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in states across the country are pushing to ban abortions earlier and impose new requirements that make it harder for abortion clinics to operate. Under the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, abortions can be performed until the point when an individual doctor determines a fetus’s viability, which is generally defined as up to 24 weeks of gestation. After that point, the government can prohibit the procedure so long as it provides safeguards for the mother’s health and well-being.
The poll suggests that significant support exists for banning abortions earlier in a woman’s pregnancy, but far less for instituting onerous restrictions for abortion providers.
Progress is often measured not in leaps, but steps. This is progress, if painfully slow.