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According to a recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, a plurality of Americans supports a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, as mandated in bills that were recently debated in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Texas State Legislature.

The poll finds that Americans narrowly favor such bans by a 48 to 44 percent margin. There is a clear partisan split in the results; 59 percent of Republicans support 20-week bans, while just 34 percent oppose them. By contrast, 33 percent of Democrats support such measures, and 59 percent oppose them.

In a potential warning sign for Democrats, women and young voters — key members of the party’s coalition — tend to favor restrictive bans. A majority 52 percent of those aged 18-29 — more than any other age group — support banning abortions after 20 weeks, with 39 percent opposed. Women favor a 20-week ban by a 50 to 44 percent margin.

National Journal poll

The results underscore what an uphill battle women’s health advocates face in their fight against extreme anti-abortion bills. Although 20-week bans without medical exceptions pose a huge health risk to women, and are flagrantly unconstitutional in light of Roe v. Wade, it’s clear that at this juncture anti-choice advocates are winning the messaging war on the issue.

Still, Republicans are seemingly in constant danger of squandering their narrow advantage on the topic. Every time a Phil Gingrey or Trent Franks opens his mouth, it just increases the odds that voters will ultimately turn away from the Republican Party and its increasingly extreme rhetoric.

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