The number of Democrats who say they’re pro-life rose 14 percent between January and February, according to a Marist Poll released Sunday night.
Thirty-four percent of Democrats identify as pro-life, up from only 20 percent of Democrats in January, according to the poll, reflecting a major shift in views. Young Democrats are responsible for much of the shift; 28 percent of Democrats younger than 45 identified as pro-life in January and that number rose to 47 percent in February, the poll shows.
Americans are now split right down the middle on abortion, with 47 percent of Americans identifying as pro-life and 47 percent identifying as pro-choice, the poll reveals.
Those percentages mark a departure from January’s nation-wide views on abortion, where 55 percent of Americans considered themselves pro-choice while 38 percent said they were pro-life, according to the poll.
“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way,” Marist Poll Director Barbara Carvalho said, according to a Monday press release.
The Knights of Columbus partnered with the Marist Poll to conduct the survey. They conducted their survey by interviewing 1,008 U.S. adults 18 years old and above between Feb. 12 and 17. The interviews were conducted via telephone in English or Spanish. The margin of error is 3.5 percent.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic volunteer organization that does charity work in America, Europe and Asia.
“The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public … there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice,” Carvalho also said, according to the press release.
The poll follows New York’s passage of the Reproductive Health Act in January, codifying a woman’s ability to abort under state law and allowing women to have abortions after 24 weeks to preserve the mother’s health. The Vermont House passed a bill Feb. 21 that gives women the right to have elective abortions up until birth and strips away rights of unborn babies.
Rhode Island, Maine, New Mexico and Maryland are also considering proposals to expand abortion access.
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