http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Marchers_walk_past_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States_during_the_2015_March_for_Life_in_Washington_DC_on_Jan_22_2015_Credit_Addie_Mena_CNA_CNA_1_22_15.jpgWashington D.C., Jan 20, 2016 / 12:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Beneath the pro-life/pro-choice divide in the U.S., there is a significant consensus favoring abortion restrictions, according to a new Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus.
“Although the issue is often a very polarizing issue politically, what we found is that it is not a polarized issue,” Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, said at the National Press Club on Jan. 19, announcing the poll results.
“The debate is too often reduced to the percentage who identify with the labels ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice’,” said Patrick Kelly of the Knights of Columbus and executive director of the St. John Paul II National Shrine.
“What we have found each year is that the split over the labels masks a very real consensus, a consensus of Americans who favor substantial restrictions on abortion. A consensus who sees abortion as morally wrong and ultimately harmful to women,” he added.
The Knights released the poll results on Tuesday in advance of the Jan. 22 National March for Life, remembering the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that decided a woman’s legal right to have an abortion.
Over 80 percent of poll respondents – including almost two-thirds of identified pro-choice respondents – supported limiting abortions to the first trimester of pregnancy. This high level of support has remained about the same since 2008 when the Knights conducted their first poll on this issue.
That number is “the real story,” noted Andrew Walther, vice president of communications and strategic planning for the Knights of Columbus, at the National Press Club. It is a “much better metric in terms of where the American people are than simply terms like pro-life and pro-choice,” he said.
While polls like Gallup might reveal how many Americans identify as pro-life or pro-choice, the Marist poll has “gone deeper” and explored public opinion on various positions, Carvalho explained.
Pro-life and pro-choice respondents showed consen