US abortion views shift, majority are 'pro-life': poll

May 15, 2009

US opinion on abortion has shifted with, for the first time in nearly 15 years, a narrow 51-percent majority identifying themselves as "pro-life," according to a new Gallup poll published Friday.

The "pro-life," anti-abortion opinion has risen from 44 percent a year ago, while the number of Americans who described themselves as "pro-choice" fell from 50 percent a year ago to 42 percent now.

The results "represent a significant shift," said Gallup, which interviewed 1,015 adults from May 7-10.

For the middle ground poll, Gallup said 53 percent of Americans believe should be legal under certain circumstances, about even from a year ago.

This opinion's high point came under Democrat president Bill Clinton in 1997 when 67 percent said abortion should be legal under certain circumstances.

By comparison, the extreme views on remain polarized, with 23 percent saying abortion should be barred under any circumstances -- up from 17 percent a year ago -- and 22 percent maintaining the action should be allowed in "most circumstances," down from 28 percent last year.

The change in opinion has come due to a distinct tightening of ranks among on the ethical, and bio-ethical, issues.

The percentage of Republicans calling themselves "pro-life" jumped 10 percent in the last year from 60 to 70 percent, as little change was registered among Democrats and those who lean Democratic.

The opinion shift has coincided with the positions taken by the administration of President , which opened the funding gates to organizations that sponser abortion and revived .

Marking the controversy has been the vocal protests to Obama's visit to the major Catholic university Notre Dame at the weekend.

The "pro-life" position among Catholics has risen seven points in the last year -- to 52 percent -- as Protestants have registered an eight point increase to 59 percent, Gallup found.

For the first time in a decade, more men are against abortion (54 percent) than women (49 percent).

Gallup said their maximum sampling error was plus or minus three percent.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Poll says drinking frequency on the rise

Aug 02, 2006

The number of people in the United States who drink alcohol is holding steady but a Gallup Poll says the frequency of alcohol consumption is rising.

Poll: Bush not trusted on healthcare

Feb 22, 2007

A new poll suggests that U.S. citizens do not trust U.S. President George Bush to reform the nation's healthcare system while 50 percent trust the Democrats.

Recommended for you

Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

14 hours ago

Each year thousands of students enroll in medical schools across the country. But just how many feel they've been disrespected, publicly humiliated, ridiculed or even harassed by their superiors at some point during their ...

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

22 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

23 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

User comments : 11

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2.2 / 5 (6) May 15, 2009
i dont believe it. The poll was flawed.
3.4 / 5 (7) May 15, 2009
flawed? like the logic behind the pro-abortion / anti death penalty mindset?
3 / 5 (4) May 15, 2009
They must have asked churchies!
3.4 / 5 (5) May 15, 2009
A poll is at it's best the consensus of the people polled, and at it's worst a misrepresentation of what the general public think on a given topic, and used by people to give an illegitimate voice to my thoughts when I have not had the choice to speak.

So yes. The poll was flawed, whatever the outcome.
1 / 5 (2) May 15, 2009
"pro-life", until they're born.
5 / 5 (1) May 16, 2009
Either the article or the actual poll is flawed. The poll apears flawed from internal evidence in the article. It states that the Democrats remained the same as a percentage. It states that the Republicans became more strongly anti-abortion. There are at present less Republicans than there were in the past. Those numbers don't match up well.

Therefor either the poll is flawed in some way or the article is badly written. The usual way for a poll to be flawed is the specifics of the questions asked and I note that they don't give the specifics. This is not just something I see happening at Physorg a site that often has badly written articles. It seems endemic to most articles covering polls.

Without the details any poll is worthless. Often even with the details once you see the actual questions.

2.1 / 5 (7) May 16, 2009
The more knowledge about the life of an unborn child becomes known, the more pro-life a sane person becomes. Its hard to kill someone who is viewed as human. Everyone who has a brain knows life begins at conception. Only misguided crazies deny this fact.

Now getting pro abortionists to tell the truth is about as hard as getting a democratic leader to tell the truth,
3.6 / 5 (7) May 16, 2009
Everyone who has a brain knows life begins at conception. Only misguided crazies deny this fact.

What a delightful strawman.

Skin cells on my ass are fully alive and you can remove some and keep them alive. They are clearly human cells. Yet nobody accuses me of murder when I scratch my ass; why is that?
5 / 5 (2) May 16, 2009
i dont believe it. The poll was flawed.

Polls are easy to fix to produce the desired results. All you have to do is alter the wording of the questions and/or answer choices. Ask anyone in advertising or psychological warfare.
3.4 / 5 (5) May 17, 2009
Everyone who has a brain knows life begins at conception. Only misguided crazies deny this fact.

Only misguided religious people think Human Life is independent of brains. Specifically the cerebral cortex. While I can see a person deciding your way for yourself I don't think its your business to make that decision for others.

In Japan babies aren't official till they are a month old. That's after birth not conception. A hole nation is crazy according to you.

When a person thinks everyone else is crazy they need to take a closer look at themselves.

1 / 5 (1) May 18, 2009
Deranged-religious fanatical views increase in populations as such progenitors reproduce more offspring than other groups.

Any group differentiated by avoiding birth control and/or abortion may produce more children, and pass along similar values to their larger families.

Natural selection favors the reproductive winners, even when they disagree with Darwin. Theology tries to control paternity, often removes the goalie during intercourse, and frequently refuses to call the results unplanned or a mistake.

In my humble opinion, Religious-Fundamental governments rise as more affluent perspectives die out with less reproductive influence, or with relatively less control of reproductive paternity.