Poll Finds Most Americans Believe Unborn Children Have Rights


Published June 20, 2022

National Review

Americans United for Life (AUL) has partnered with YouGov to survey 1,000 Americans on their opinions about abortion, fetal personhood, and legal rights for the unborn. YouGov conducted the survey between May 6 and May 13, shortly after someone leaked a draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The poll sample included Americans with a wide range of views about abortion. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they are pro-choice, 32 percent said they are pro-life, and 29 percent said they identify with neither label.

According to the poll results, a copy of which was provided exclusively to National Review, majorities believe in fetal personhood and believe that unborn children have a variety of rights. For instance, a combined 55 percent of respondents said they believe an unborn child is a person either from the moment of conception or within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Only 14 percent of respondents said they think an unborn child becomes a person at birth. An overwhelming majority (86 percent) say that the unborn child is a person by the time he or she can survive outside the mother’s womb.

Meanwhile, supermajorities believe unborn children have a number of rights, including the right to be born (80 percent), the right to be protected from violence or assault (89 percent), and the right to be protected against substance abuse (90 percent).

A slight majority (51 percent) said that abortion ends the life of a human being before birth, and 52 percent said they would support the Supreme Court “extending legal rights of personhood to unborn children.” At the same time, however, only 44 percent of respondents said they’d support state lawmakers having the power to prohibit abortion, an interesting discrepancy.

“What we should take away from the results of this latest AUL/YouGov national survey is that in a post-Roe world, Americans will rely on our executive, judicial, and legislative leaders to clarify and uphold the human right to life in practice,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of AUL, in a statement following the survey announcement. “As crucial as the encouragement of public opinion is for the human right to life, what will most be needed post-Roe are brave and courageous political leaders who are willing to act to restore the human right to life in its fullness and to protect it for all time to come.”

EPPC Visiting Fellow Alexandra DeSanctis writes on abortion policy and the pro-life movement, as well as on other key topics at the intersection of politics, culture, and religion.

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash


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