NRL News

New Poll: South Carolina voters overwhelmingly support protecting pain-capable unborn children

by | Apr 29, 2014


SC_Pain_PollWASHINGTON – A poll released today by National Right to Life and South Carolina Citizens for Life finds that 63% of registered voters in South Carolina support a law that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks, when there is overwhelming scientific evidence that the unborn child is capable of feeling pain.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed the South Carolina House of Representatives on March 16, 2014, by a bi-partisan 84-29 vote. It is currently before the Medical Affairs Committee of the South Carolina Senate.

“A substantial majority of South Carolina voters support protecting pain-capable unborn children,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “We join with South Carolina Citizens for Life in calling on the Senate to take action and protect pain-capable unborn children from abortion.”

“It is now up to the Senate to listen to the overwhelming majority of South Carolinians and vote to protect pain-capable unborn children,” said Holly Gatling, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for Life.

The South Carolina Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on substantial medical evidence which indicates that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, and prohibits abortion after that point, except when necessary to avert the death of the mother or when an immediate abortion is necessary to prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

The legislation is based on a National Right to Life model bill that has already been enacted in ten states. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a federal version of the bill last year, and it has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

The poll also found that:

  • 65% of women support the bill; 60% of men support the bill
  • 49% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, and 68% of Republicans support the bill
  • 50% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the bill
  • 29% said that they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports the bill

The results of the statewide poll in South Carolina track closely with a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters conducted in March 2013, which found that 64% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks – when an unborn baby can feel pain – unless the life of the mother is in danger.

Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks developmental age, is available on the NRLC website at and also here:

The poll of 501 registered South Carolina voters was conducted by The Polling Company April 23-25, 2014 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

Categories: Legislation