Poll: 77 Percent of Americans Would Outlaw Post-Birth Abortion

After Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) defended infanticide — the withholding of life-saving care from a baby born in a failed abortion — the U.S. Senate is considering the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. According to a poll released Wednesday, a whopping 77 percent of Americans support such a measure.

"Congress is considering legislation that would ensure that a baby who survives a failed abortion would be given the same medical treatment as any other baby born prematurely at the same age. Do you support or oppose this legislation?" the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List asked respondents in the survey.

More than half of respondents (55 percent) said they would "strongly support" such a bill, while another 21 percent said they "somewhat" support it. Only 9 percent of respondents said they would oppose this kind of legislation.

While Republicans proved more enthusiastic about the measure (86 percent support), Democrats (70 percent) and Independents (75 percent) broadly supported it, as well. Both men (79 percent) and women (75 percent) backed a law protecting infants born alive in a botched abortion.

Late last month, Northam discussed third-trimester abortions (which are almost never the right solution to help a mother's health — delivery is safer), laying out what would happen if a mother gave birth in an attempted abortion.

"If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered," the governor said. "The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother."

In other words, a baby who survives an attempted abortion would be considered dead — hence the suggestion that the baby would be "resuscitated" — and if the baby could indeed survive, there is no assumption the baby should be protected. Instead, it would be up to the mother and the "physicians" whether or not to let the baby die without life-saving care.

Horrified, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) introduced legislation to make this kind of baby-killing illegal. Tragically, Senate Democrats blocked the bill. Sasse shamed them, quoting the soaring rhetoric of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, who claim to support helping the helpless and marginalized.

The SBA List poll also asked respondents about late-term abortions. "Some legislation would allow late term (sic) abortions — even up to the point when a woman is in labor. Do you support or oppose legislation that would allow these late term abortions?" the survey asked.

Only 28 percent of Americans supported late-term abortion bills. A full 62 percent opposed them, with 50 percent saying they were "strongly opposed" to such bills. Republicans (71 percent) and Independents (70 percent) proved more likely to oppose the bills than Democrats (48 percent), but more Democrats opposed the bills than supported them (41 percent). Women (65 percent) proved more likely to oppose such bills than men (59 percent).

As with the infanticide issue, this question arose after abortion news in Virginia. Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield) testified that her bill would make abortion legal up until the very beginning of labor, so long as one solitary doctor said the abortion was necessary to save the woman's life or health (a term that is broadly defined and could encompass emotional health). This news even led some Democrats — like Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) — to oppose the bill.

The SBA List poll results fit with the results of a poll released Tuesday by Americans United for Life (AUL). That survey found that 68 percent of pro-choice Americans oppose abortion the day before a child would be born, while 66 percent of pro-choice Americans oppose abortion in the third trimester. Another 77 percent of pro-choice Americans oppose removing medical care for a viable child outside the womb.

Tragically, some of these deeply unpopular positions are currently the law of the land. Thanks to Roe v. Wade (1973) and other Supreme Court cases, abortion is legal throughout pregnancy, so long as a doctor testifies that the abortion would save the mother's life or health — and health is broadly defined to include mental health.

Democrats are pushing laws like the Virginia bill in order to make sure that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, its broad protections for abortion would remain in place in their state. This political battle is an important teachable moment for Americans to understand just how radical Roe v. Wade really is.

If Americans understood how radical Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court precedent really is, they would oppose that court case as well as these deeply unpopular protections for abortion.

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