News & Politics

78 Percent of Americans Back Abortion Clinic Standards in Supreme Court Case

Pro-life protester stands with a sign in front of the Supreme Court building as part of the 2018 March for Life. (Photo Credit: Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media.)

In October, the Supreme Court announced it would consider two abortion cases involving Louisiana’s law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The vast majority of Americans support this kind of mandate, according to a new Americans United for Life (AUL)/YouGov poll of 1,326 Americans released Tuesday.

More than three-quarters of Americans (78 percent) agreed with the statement, “Regardless of my personal views on abortion, I believe physicians performing abortions should be able to transfer women who experience complications directly to the emergency room as necessary.” Only 4.8 percent of Americans disagreed.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) also said they would support “states being able to pass safeguards that ensure abortion facilities are in compliance with basic medical practices and sanitation.” Only 11.9 percent opposed this freedom for states.

“This survey highlights that Americans, regardless of their personal views on abortion, stand with us in our fight to protect a woman’s right to health care and emergency medical attention,” AUL President and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster said in a statement on the findings. “Women deserve the same standard of care no matter who their doctor is. Continued efforts by elected officials and political institutions to limit protections and safeguards for women are out of step with core American values.”

More Americans in the survey identified themselves as pro-choice (43.3 percent) than pro-life (35.5 percent), while nearly a quarter refused to choose one label or the other (23.9 percent).

Abortion advocates argue that Louisiana’s law unfairly limits access to abortion, depriving women of a fundamental right as established in Roe v. Wade (1973) and later cases. In 2016, the Court struck down a nearly identical Texas law by a vote of 5-3. Even so, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Louisiana law was permissible because it would have a different impact than the Texas law.

“Here, unlike in Texas, the Act does not impose a substantial burden on a large fraction of women,” Circuit Judge Jerry Smith wrote.

While the Fifth Circuit would have allowed the Louisiana law to go into effect, the Supreme Court stepped in in February. Chief Justice John Roberts — a George W. Bush appointee now widely consider the Court’s swing vote — joined with liberals on the Court to put the law on hold.

Former Justice Anthony Kennedy was one of the five justices who ruled against the Texas law, and he has since been replaced with Brett Kavanaugh. While liberals fought tooth and nail against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, it remains to be seen whether the newest justice will act against the precedents on abortion. June Medical Services v. Gee may prove to be a turning point on Roe v. Wade.

Misconceptions on Roe v. Wade and abortion law in general abound. A Marist poll this January found that almost two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) would support abortion restrictions that essentially overturn the Supreme Court precedents including and following Roe v. Wade. Most Americans either wanted the Court to make abortion illegal (16 percent) or to “allow states to make certain restrictions” (49 percent). Both of these outcomes would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade.

Fewer than a third of Americans (30 percent) said abortion should be “legal without restriction.” Another 6 percent admitted they were unsure.

States should be able to make their own laws on abortion, and it is reasonable for states to require abortion clinics to adhere to medical standards. After the horrific truths revealed in the “house of horrors” run by abortionist Kermit Gosnell, Americans should support such standards. Many women have died from abortion complications.

Seventy-five percent of Americans in the AUL/YouGov poll agreed that “abortion doctors should be held to the same medical standards as any ordinary physician,” and 70 percent agreed that “abortion facilities should be held to the same medical standards as any ordinary hospital.”

Most Americans agree that Louisiana should be able to hold abortion clinics to basic medical standards.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.