Most Americans back federal abortion funding ban

August 12, 2016, 3:35 PM GMT+0

Most Americans support the Hyde Amendment which makes it illegal for the federal government to fund most abortions

The Hyde Amendment is a federal law, first passed in 1976, which prohibits the use of federal funding for abortions, except in the case of incest, rape and medical necessity. Across most of the United States there is no public funding for elective abortions whatsoever, and only Washington, Maryland and New York have passed laws to provide state funds for elective abortion. For decades this compromise has been fairly uncontroversial, but for the first time in 2016 the Democratic Party platform calls for federal funding of elective abortions.

YouGov's latest research shows that most Americans (55%) support the federal law which prohibits taxpayers' money from going to fund abortions. Even Democrats, who largely support personal abortion rights, are divided on the issue. 44% of Democrats oppose the ban on federal funding of abortion, but 41% support it. Most independents (56%) and a large majority of Republicans (73%) also support the ban.

Americans tend to take a more considered view towards personal morality when it comes to abortion specifically than in principle. Overall, Americans are narrowly more likely to say that personal morals should not be more important than democratic decisions (41%) than they are to say that people should not be forced to pay taxes to fund things they consider immoral (37%).

Opinions divide along similar partisan lines, however. Most Democrats (59%) believe individual morals should not take precedence over democracy, while half of Republicans (50%) think that individuals should not be forced to fund immoral programs.