Majority oppose murder charges for illegal abortions

June 16, 2015, 4:26 PM GMT+0

Most Americans oppose charging women who have illegal abortions with murder

Last week prosecutors in Georgia dropped murder charges against a woman who had violated Georgia law and bought abortion drugs online from a Canadian pharmacy. After taking the drugs Kenlissia Jones gave birth to a son who only lived for thirty minutes. Jones, aged 23, still faces charges for the possession of dangerous drugs and her eldest child has been rehoused with relatives as the prosecution proceeds.

YouGov's latest research shows that in the minds of most Americans having an abortion which is against state law shouldn't result in murder charges. 52% of Americans oppose charging a woman who violates state abortion laws with murder while only 21% say that she should be charged with murder. Among Democrats 65% oppose murder charges along with 52% of independents. Republicans narrowly say that a woman should (37%) rather than should not (33%) be charged with murder for having an illegal abortion.

Overall most Americans (53%) tend to support fairly liberal abortion laws. 24% say that there should be no restrictions on abortion while 29% think that abortion should be generally legal, though limited in certain circumstances (for example late-term abortions). 34% think that abortion should be generally illegal except in certain circumstances (for example when the life of the mother is in danger) but 13% of Americans think that abortions should never be allowed.

People in the West tend to be the most pro-choice. 67% of Westerners think abortion should always or generally be legal and only 6% think that abortion should never be legal. The South is the most hostile to abortion, with 16% saying that aboriton should never be legal and 36% believing that it should generally be prohibited. Only 21% of southerners think that abortion should always be legal.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.