Overwhelming Supermajorities Support Rights for Preborn Children While Majorities Believe Abortion Ends Human Life and Support the U.S. Supreme Court Extending Legal Rights of Personhood to Preborn Children

Americans United for Life (AUL), in partnership with YouGov, is releasing findings from a national survey of 1,000 American adults involving attitudes toward abortion, personhood, and legal rights. The survey took place May 6-13, 2022 in the wake of the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

The results of the AUL/YouGov national survey are encouraging for pro-life advances in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s reversal, while also suggesting areas of tension and confusion over the human right to life being treated as a matter of state law.

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • A 55% majority of Americans believe an unborn fetus is a person either at the moment a woman becomes pregnant or within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
  • A 86% supermajority of Americans believe an unborn fetus is a person by the time the child is capable of surviving outside the mother’s womb, or the point of biological viability apart from a child’s mother
  • A 80% supermajority of Americans support rights for unborn children to be born
  • A 89% supermajority support rights for unborn children to be protected from violence or assault
  • A 51% majority of Americans believe that abortion ends the life of a human before birth
  • A 52% majority of Americans support the U.S. Supreme Court extending legal rights of personhood to unborn children
  • 44% of Americans support state lawmakers having the power to prohibit abortion of an unborn child, signaling possible confusion over the constitutional and federalist implications of abortion politics
  • Only 14% of Americans believe an unborn fetus doesn’t become a person until birth

Notably, in light of the AUL/YouGov National Survey’s strong pro-life results, 39% of the survey’s respondents identified as pro-choice, with 32% identifying as pro-life, and 29% identifying 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,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life. “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.”

“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. 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.”