From the SFLA Blog

What Do Most Americans Think About Late-Term Abortion Laws?

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SFLA Staff - 28 Jul 2020
What Do Most Americans Think About Late-Term Abortion Laws?

In 2019, a woman named Beth Vial shared her story with Teen Vogue about how she traveled to New Mexico to abort her viable pregnancy. Because Vial has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition that can mask pregnancy symptoms, she did not realize she was pregnant until she was 26-weeks along. Vial sought a late-term abortion not because her life was in danger – the reason most pro-choice people claim they occur – but because she felt she was not ready for a child.

The procedure women like Vial typically undergo this late into their pregnancies is known as an induction abortion. Since the baby is fully developed at this point, the abortionist will ensure the child is delivered dead by injecting a lethal substance that causes the baby to suffer a fatal cardiac arrest. Laminaria sticks will be inserted to open the woman’s cervix. Within two to four days, it will be dilated enough for her to deliver a dead baby. 

Typically, a woman will return to the clinic to give birth to her stillborn baby, but if she cannot make it back there, then she may deliver at her hotel or on the toilet. 

It’s not surprising that most Americans are not very receptive to such a barbaric procedure. Many abortion-choice advocates feel conflicted when it comes to late-term abortions. Most Americans, including younger voters, prefer the “safe, legal, and rare” position on abortion that the Democratic party has widely abandoned. A Marist poll from 2019 found self-identified Democrats and people under the age of 45 experienced a large swing in their opinions on abortion after states like New York and Virginia passed radical abortion legislation that allowed the procedure to occur throughout all nine months. 

Another Marist Poll conducted in January 2020 produced even more encouraging results. Despite the alarming support for abortion among a certain subset of politicians, “[A] notable proportion (41%) of those who identify as pro-choice are more likely to vote for candidates who support restrictions, as are more than nine in 10 who identify as pro-life (96%).”

According to a more recent poll by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, 55% of Americans are opposed to abortions that occur after five months. 79% of Americans, including 66% of people who consider themselves to be pro-choice, are not comfortable with abortions that happen after seven months. 80% of Americans, and 68% of those identifying as pro-choice, do not approve of abortions that take place one day before birth. 

Only 8% of Americans think third-trimester abortions should be allowed, and only 6% surveyed that abortions should be allowed up until the point of birth. When it comes to millennials, 49% of women, 45% of independents, and 36% of Democrats are in favor of banning abortion after five months. The Democratic Party’s radical position of unlimited access to abortion funded by taxpayer dollars is shared by only 7% of Millennials. 

As pro-life groups in Colorado – a state with no gestational limits on abortion – work to ban late-term abortion, perhaps we’ll see more states push for life-affirming measures on the ballot. 

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