Poll: Over 60% of Virginians Support Protecting Unborn Babies From Abortions at 15 Weeks

New polling conducted by WPA Intelligence for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and the non-partisan, Richmond-based Virginia Family Foundation shows Virginia voters strongly support protecting unborn children at 15 weeks.

Science shows that an unborn child has a heartbeat about five or six weeks’ gestation, and they can feel pain by 15 weeks. Almost two thirds of voters also oppose allowing abortion on demand until birth. The poll surveyed 519 registered voters statewide from January 3-5, 2023.

Unborn child at 15 weeks' development
Unborn child at 15 weeks’ development

Two lawmakers who represent districts covering the area between Roanoke and Lynchburg have introduced legislation related to these findings. Del. Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), a member of SBA Pro-Life America’s National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, and Sen. Stephen Newman (R-Bedford) introduced legislation recently that limits painful later-term abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Governor Glenn Youngkin has called on the General Assembly to pass the bill. The text of Senate Bill 1385 can be found here.

Key poll findings include:

  • 61% of likely voters support a bill protecting an unborn child after 15 weeks – a point when science shows they can feel pain – with exceptions for rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk. These numbers include 64% of Independents, 55% of Democrats, and 56% of women.
  • 65% of likely voters oppose allowing abortion until the moment of birth.
  • 60% of likely pro-choice voters agree with legislation that limits abortion after 15 weeks.
Despite the poll’s findings, the State Senate’s Health and Education Committee killed SB 1385 on Friday, January 20. Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke), three other Democrats, and one Republican voted to kill the bill in committee. Sen. David Suetterlein (R-Roanoke County), Sen. Newman, and one other Republican supported the measure but it failed to make it to the Senate floor.
More than a dozen states already enacted pro-life protections since the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, with the potential to save over 125,000 lives annually.
To review the most accurate and up-to-date science of human prenatal development at 15 weeks of pregnancy, visit Charlotte Lozier Institute’s groundbreaking resource. Scientific findings that show unborn children can experience pain at 15 weeks is found here. The Susan B. Anthony state-by-state pro-life law tracker map can be viewed here.

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