National News

Poll Shows Most New Yorkers Want More Legal Protections For The Unborn

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seen during a Midnight Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral Dec. 25. Manhattan. Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany, N.Y., urged Cuomo to stop the “Death Star” as he called a bill in the state Legislature to expand current state law on abortion. On Jan. 22, the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe decision legalizing abortion nationwide, the Legislature passed the Reproductive Health Act and Cuomo, a Catholic, signed it into law. (Photo: Catholic News Service/Carlo Allegri, Reuters)

By Christopher White, The Tablet’s National Correspondent

Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s successful efforts to expand abortion access, a new poll shows that a majority of New Yorkers would limit abortion to the first three months of pregnancy.

While most New Yorkers may identify as pro-choice – 62 percent in the latest poll done by Marist Poll and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus – 75 percent said they opposed abortion after 20 weeks.

By contrast, Cuomo’s reproductive health act, which was signed into law in January, allows for abortion for any reason during the third trimester of pregnancy right up to a mother’s due date.

Cuomo said was motivated to pass the legislation, which was vigorously apposed by the state’s Catholic bishops, because he is convinced that newly appointed Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will vote to overturn Roe v Wade, the critical 1973 decision which enshrined abortion throughout the country.

New York State is widely considered one of the most pro-choice states in the country, and was the first to legalize the practice of abortion in 1970, three years before the Supreme Court decision in Roe. The state currently has the highest abortion rates in the nation.

Even so, 71 percent of respondents to the poll, which was conducted February 25 – March 4, said they would ban abortion after 20 weeks, and another 4 percent said they would ban it all together.

Among those surveyed, seven in ten Democrats, 73 percent of independents, and 89 percent of Republicans supported an abortion ban after 20 weeks.

In response to the new data, the head of the Knights of Columbus termed the latest policies pushed forward by the state as “radical.”

“New Yorkers simply do not support laws that allow late-term abortions,” said Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus.

“It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite opposition by the majority of New Yorkers, and by a majority of those who identify as Democrats, Republicans and independents,” he continued.

In addition to the New York data, Marist has found that eight in ten Americans would limit abortion, at most, to the first three months of pregnancy.

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