Results of a statewide poll commissioned by the Chiaroscuro Foundation to survey the attitudes of New Yorkers about abortion and Governor Cuomo’s proposed abortion expansions under his Reproductive Health Act were released today on the steps of New York City Hall.

The findings conclude that an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support sensible restrictions on abortions, with eighty percent (80%) opposing unlimited abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy and seventy-five percent (75%) opposing changes in current law so that someone other than a doctor can perform an abortion.

The entire survey, including crosstabs, is available here. Toplines are available here.

“Governor Cuomo’s proposed changes in New York’s abortion laws are clearly out of the political mainstream,” said Chiaroscuro Foundation president Greg Pfundstein. “While it is difficult to imagine having even less abortion regulation in New York, Gov. Cuomo’s special interest allies in the abortion lobby have come up with a few ideas, and they are all extremely unpopular. Some of them, like allowing non-physicians to perform abortions, seem bound to make New York less safe for women. In fact, most New Yorkers favor adding sensible restrictions common in other states. It is imperative for Governor Cuomo to listen to what pro-choice and pro-life New Yorkers actually think before he acts in haste on this radical legislative proposal.”

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According to the survey:

  • A vast majority of New Yorkers believe (78.8%), when they are informed of the number of abortions in New York, believe there is already sufficient access to abortion in New York State.
  • 75% oppose changing the law so that someone other than a doctor can perform surgical abortions;
  • 89% oppose abortions for reducing twins or triplets to a single child, and
  • 92% oppose late-term abortions for sex selection.

New Yorkers favor of restrictions on abortion:

  • 87% favor providing pregnant mothers information about options before they make a decision;
  • 78% approve of a 24 hour waiting period;
  • 76% approve parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion;
  • 68% approve of providing free medical care to mothers carrying their pregnancy to term, and
  • 86% favor regulating abortion clinics as strictly as other medical facilities.

“This survey tells us that women want and deserve more choices, not more abortion,” said Meg McDonnell, a spokeswoman for the Chiaroscuro Foundation. “New York’s elected officials should take a close look at this data and work on making abortions rarer, not more commonplace and more dangerous. Those pushing for this legislation are far out of the mainstream and they need to be called on it.”

New York City has one of the highest abortion ratios in America.  Forty percent of viable pregnancies end in abortion in the five boroughs today — almost double the national average — and nearly 60% of viable African-American pregnancies in the city are aborted every year.

The Chiaroscuro Foundation is a non-for-profit organization seeking to reduce the number of abortions in New York and to educate pregnant New Yorkers about alternatives to abortion.

Full top-lines and crosstabs-including response percentages for those who identify as “prochoice” and “pro-life”-can be found at This survey of 600 likely general election voters in New York State was conducted on January 27th through January 31st, 2013.  420 interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers. 180 interviews were conducted via internet to capture voters who identified themselves as cell-phone only users.  Interview selection was random within predetermined election units.  These units were structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in a statewide general election. The survey of 600 likely general election voters has an accuracy of ±4.0% at a 95% confidence interval.