Many Americans support legal limits on abortion

NEW HAVEN—Released today, the 2023 Knights of Columbus–Marist Poll reveals that
69 percent of Americans support limiting abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This survey, conducted by the Marist Poll and commissioned annually by the Knights of Columbus, also found that 91 percent of Americans support pregnancy resource centers, which offer support to mothers both during their pregnancy and after their baby is born. Additionally, the poll found that 60 percent of respondents oppose using tax dollars for abortion services domestically, and 78 percent oppose funding abortion services abroad.

“Nearly 7 in 10 Americans believe abortion should be limited,” says Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho,
Director of the Marist Poll. “After a year of contentious public debate over the Supreme Court’s
Dobbs decision, the results are comparable to the findings of a Knights of Columbus–Marist Poll conducted last January.”

“Since the start of the Knights of Columbus—Marist Poll in 2008, we’ve seen a consistent and clear consensus of Americans who support restrictions on abortion,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly. “Likewise, an overwhelming majority of people—90 percent this year—believe that our laws can protect both the mother and her unborn child. Too often, the abortion debate is framed in the context of supporting either one or the other. The reality is, we can—and must—craft laws that protect both mothers and their children.”

Supreme Knight Kelly continued, “In early June 2022, we launched a new Knights of Columbus
campaign called ASAP, which stands for Aid and Support After Pregnancy. ASAP is a call to action for Knights across the United States and Canada to offer even more support for pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes and other organizations that give direct assistance to new mothers and babies. We set a goal of $5 million in ASAP’s first year, and we’re already well on our way to exceeding that.”

Supreme Knight Kelly concluded, “The Knights will redouble our efforts to restore a culture of life and advance a culture of compassion for pregnant women in need.”

Other key 2023 Knights of Columbus–Marist Poll findings include:

  • 77 percent of Americans believe doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals with religious objections to abortions should not be legally required to perform them.
  • A majority of Americans—60 percent—are opposed to abortion if the child will be born with
    Down Syndrome.

This survey of 1,025 adults 18 years of age and older residing in the United States was conducted January 6 through January 9, 2023, by The Marist Poll and sponsored by The Knights of Columbus. Survey questions were available in English or Spanish and conducted online and by phone using the probability-based SSRS Opinion Panel. The sample was balanced to reflect the 2020 American Community Survey five-year estimates for age, gender, income, race and region. Results are statistically significant within ±3.5 percentage points. There are 885 registered voters. The results for this subset are statistically significant within ±3.8 percentage points. Tables include subgroups only to display crosstabs with an acceptable sampling error. It should be noted that although you may not see results listed for a certain group, it does not mean interviews were not completed with those individuals. It simply means the sample size is too small to report. The error margin was adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.

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About the Knights of Columbus
In 1882, Blessed Michael McGivney, a young parish priest in New Haven, Connecticut, founded the Knights of Columbus to serve the needs of a largely immigrant Catholic community. What began as a small fraternal benefit society has since grown into one of the world’s leading international charitable organizations. In 2021, Knights around the world donated nearly 48 million service hours and nearly $154 million for worthy causes in their communities. As the world’s premier lay Catholic men’s organization, the Knights is comprised of more than 2 million members in over 16,000 local councils. The Knights of Columbus also offers extensive life insurance products to members and their families. Knights of Columbus currently has more than $120 billion of life insurance in force and was named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Insurance Companies 2023. In addition, the Knights provides investment services in accord with Catholic social teaching through Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, which holds more than $25 billion in assets under management. Based on the founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus is committed to strengthening Catholic families and parishes and to practicing faith in action through service to all in need.

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