As SCOTUS Decision on Abortion Looms, Polls Show Americans Support Fetal Personhood Rights

39 percent of respondents identified as pro-choice


As the country awaits a decision from the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — a case that could return abortion rights issues back to the states — polling data shows that most Americans support rights for unborn children.

Americans United for Life (AUL) and YouGov just released data from a national poll concerning attitudes toward abortion, personhood, and legal rights for the unborn.

According to the data, 55 percent of Americans believe an unborn fetus is a person at the moment of conception or within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Eighty-six percent of Americans believe an unborn fetus is a person by the time the child is able to survive outside the mother’s womb, which is now considered about week 22 of gestation.

The survey also found:

  • 80 percent of Americans support rights for unborn children
  • 89 percent of Americans support rights for a fetus to be protected from violence or assault
  • 51 percent of Americans believe abortion ends the life of a human
  • 52 percent of Americans favor the Supreme Court extending legal personhood rights to unborn children
  • 44 percent support state legislators having the power to prohibit abortion
  • Only 14 percent of Americans believe an unborn fetus is not a person until the moment of birth

As with any survey, the demographics of a sample population can skew the data. The AUL/YouGov National Survey showed a pro-choice bias, with 39 percent of respondents identifying as pro-choice, 32 percent identifying as pro-life, and 29 percent who identified as neither.

“We see powerfully through our latest AUL/YouGov national survey how intuitively supportive Americans are of the human right to life and legal rights for children prior to birth,” Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, said in a statement. “We also see the tension between Americans’ convictions and the role of law in shaping culture. We must work together to give our beliefs a voice in the law, which exists to ensure justice and equal protection for all members of the human family.”

The Supreme Court usually closes this term by the end of June, which means the public will have a final decision on the Dobbs case within a week.

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