New Poll Shows 58-27% Support for Replacing DC Current Abortion Policy


NEW POLL SHOWS 58-27% SUPPORT FOR REPLACING
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA’S CURRENT ABORTION-UNTIL-BIRTH POLICY
WITH PENDING CONGRESSIONAL BAN ON LATE ABORTIONS;
U.S. HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO VOTE ON BILL WEDNESDAY, JULY 18

WASHINGTON (July 17, 2012) — By more than a 2-to-1 margin (58-27%), American adults, once informed of the current abortion policy in the nation’s capital – legal abortion, for any reason, until birth – would be more likely to vote for lawmakers who support a pending bill that would not permit abortion in the District of Columbia after 22 weeks of pregnancy (20 weeks after fertilization), except to save a mother’s life.
The bill, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803), is scheduled to be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, July 18.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az.), has 215 House cosponsors, including every Republican member of the Judiciary Committee.  A Senate companion bill (S. 2103) has 30 cosponsors.  Seven states have already enacted similar legislation.

Using (or misusing) authority delegated by Congress, the District Council repealed the entire abortion law for the District of Columbia. “In the District of Columbia, abortion is now legal, for any reason, until the moment of birth,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.  “Under the Constitution, Members of Congress, and the President, are ultimately accountable for this extreme policy.  A vote against this bill amounts to a vote to ratify the current policy in the nation’s capital, which is legal abortion for any reason until the moment of birth.”

In a nationwide telephone poll of 1,010 adults (MOE +/-3.1%), conducted July 12-15, The Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend, asked the following question:

Currently, within the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital, there is no abortion law at all.  This means that abortion is legal there, for any reason, right up until the moment of birth.  This summer, Congress is considering a bill that would not allow abortion in the District of Columbia after 22 weeks of pregnancy – which means after the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy – unless the mother’s life is in danger.  Would you be more or less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who votes in favor of this bill? And would you be (ROTATED) more or less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who votes in favor of this bill? (PROBED: And would that be MUCH or SOMEWHAT MORE/LESS LIKELY?)

 58% TOTAL MORE LIKELY (NET) [women: 62%; men: 53%]
38% MUCH MORE LIKELY
20% SOMEWHAT MORE LIKELY

27% TOTAL LESS LIKELY (NET) [women: 27%; men, 27%]
8% SOMEWHAT LESS LIKELY
19% MUCH LESS LIKELY

12% MAKES NO DIFFERENCE/DEPENDS (VOLUNTEERED)
2% DO NOT KNOW (VOLUNTEERED)
1% REFUSED (VOLUNTEERED)

In response to a separate poll question, adults favored, by a 3-to-1 margin, a policy of not permitting abortion anywhere “after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain,” unless it is “necessary to save a mother’s life.”

Unless an abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, do you think abortion should be permitted after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain? 

63% NO, ABORTION SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED [women:70%; men:55%]
21% YES, ABORTION SHOULD BE PERMITTED [women:18%, men:25%]
8% DEPENDS (VOLUNTEERED)
4% DO NOT KNOW (VOLUNTEERED)
3% REFUSED (VOLUNTEERED)

H.R. 3803 was introduced by Congressman Trent Franks (R-Az.). In the bill, Congress adopts “findings” (declarations of fact) that by 20 weeks after fertilization (if not earlier), the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain.  The bill then prohibits abortion after that point, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.  Expert testimony was presented at a May 17 hearing on the bill showing that at 20 weeks fetal age, 6 percent of infants born spontaneously now survive long term in good neo-natal units.  The long-term survival rates are 26% at 21 weeks fetal age and 55% at 22 weeks fetal age.  (To convert to the alternate “LMP” dating system used by ob-gyns and abortion providers, also known as “weeks of pregnancy,” add two weeks.)

The NRLC website contains much documentation on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and on the scientific evidence that unborn children, by 20 weeks fetal age if not before, have the capacity to experience great pain, here.  The abortion method most often used at this stage, the “D&E,” is depicted in a medical illustration, here.

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization.