Poll: Record low are 'pro-choice'
MAY 24, 2012 (www.politico.com
) - Gallup began asking people to define themselves as pro-choice or pro-life in 1995.
The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as “pro-choice” is at the lowest point ever measured by Gallup, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
A record-low 41 percent now identify themselves as “pro-choice,” down from 47 percent last July and 1 percentage point down from the previous record low of 42 percent, set in May 2009. As recently as 2006, 51 percent of Americans described themselves as “pro-choice.”
Meanwhile, 50 percent of Americans now consider themselves “pro-life,” one point below Gallup’s record high on the measure.
“Gallup began asking Americans to define themselves as pro-choice or pro-life on abortion in 1995, and since then, identification with the labels has shifted from a wide lead for the pro-choice position in the mid-1990s, to a generally narrower lead for “pro-choice” — from 1998 through 2008 — to a close division between the two positions since 2009,” explains the polling firm.
“Pro-life” identification is up among all three U.S. political affiliations: 72 percent of Republicans are “pro-life,” up from 68 percent last year; 47 percent of independents are, compared with 41 percent last year; and 34 percent of Democrats are, compared with 27 percent last year.
In terms of morality, a slight majority — 51 percent — of Americans consider abortion morally wrong, while 38 percent say that it is morally acceptable — virtually unchanged to views on the matter in May 2011.
Views on legality are slightly different: 72 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be legal; 52 percent believe it should be legal under certain circumstances; and 20 percent believe it should be legal under all circumstances. A quarter of the American population believes abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.
The Gallup Poll was conducted May 3-6 with a sample of 1,024 adults and a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.