A majority of Americans believe that life begins in the womb at conception or when a fetal heartbeat is detected, a new survey found.
A poll conducted via interviews with 1,155 Americans has shown that most say they believe life begins at conception or when a heartbeat can be detected in a woman's womb, with 63% of survey respondents saying so. Only 13% said that life begins at birth, the survey results revealed.
The Lifeway Research survey conducted for the Land Center for Cultural Engagement showed that 35% of Americans believe life begins at conception, while 20% said that life begins when a heartbeat is detected in a fetus, totaling 63%. Meanwhile, 13% said that life begins when the child is viable outside the womb, while another 13% said life begins at birth.
According to Land Center for Cultural Engagement director Daniel Darling, most abortion surveys do not ask abortion-seeking parents their thoughts on the beginning of life. He believes that the survey results show that a majority of Americans "understand the unborn baby to be a distinct human person."
Americans Have a 'Growing Awareness' on When Life Begins
In an analysis published at LandCenter.org, Daniel cited the "growing awareness, perhaps due to technology, other scientific breakthroughs, and pro-life advocacy, that there is life in the womb." He wrote that while Americans are growing increasingly aware of when life begins, specifically at conception or first heartbeat, pro-life advocates still have "much more work to do" but now "an be grateful that fewer and fewer Americans see a fetus as less than human."
According to the survey, only 10% of Americans supported legal aboriton up to the moment of birth, which is allowed under the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and its companion decisions. Meanwhile, only 26% or one-fourth would not allow abortion at any time. The survey also showed that 15% would allow abortion up to six weeks, while 11% would allow abortion up to 12 weeks.
Pro-life Movement Fighting for the 'Sancitity of Life at Conception'
The Lifeway Resarch survey comes just weeks after a draft decision leaked from the Supreme Court that threatened to overthrow Roe v. Wade, making way for states to establish their own abortion bans. Darling wrote that pro-life advocates such as himself and his organization not only "believe in the sanctity of human life at conception," but are also "working for a day when human life is protected at all stages." Darling added that it felt "heartening to see the majority of Americans favor preserving life at earlier and earlier stages."
According to the survey results, Americans also reject how Roe v. Wade allows elective abortions. According to the Christian Headlines, a large majority of Americans or up to 78% support legal abortion in the event that the mother's life is in danger. Up to 73% supported abortion in cases of rape, while 72% supported abortion in cases of incest. However, only 37% supported abortion in the event that the mother had an unwatned pregnancy or if she is going through financial hardship.