Majority of Americans Support Keeping Abortion Legal


More people approve of legal access to abortion, a new Pew study released earlier this month has found.

According to the study’s findings:

The current survey finds a majority of 54% supporting legal abortion in all or most cases; 42% say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. This represents a small but significant change over the past two years. In Pew Research polling in 2009, opinion on whether abortion should be legal was evenly divided, with 46% favoring and 44% opposing legal abortion in most or all cases. Last summer, half of respondents (50%) supported legal abortion, while 44% opposed it.

Support for legal abortion is higher among Democrats and independents than among Republicans. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats (65%) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, as do 58% of independents. Among Republicans, just 34% support legal abortion.

There has been relatively little change in views about abortion among different religious groups. A small majority of Catholics (52%) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases; 45% disagree. In 2010, Catholics were divided (47% in favor of legal abortion, 45% opposed). White evangelical Protestants remain the religious group most opposed to legal abortion, with just 34% saying abortion should be legal and 64% saying it should be illegal in all or most cases.

In passing numerous anti-choice bills both in the state and national legislatures, Republicans will be popular for throwing red meat to their base, but the majority of the public will not be as pleased with the approach.  Most likely to be unhappy that the Republicans have hijacked the process to make government all anti-abortion all the time?  Independents, who overwhelmingly support abortion access 58 percent to 38 percent.  And those independents have the ability to swing elections.

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  • prowomen

    How was the poll worded?  

    Was it worded:  Do you believe a woman should be allowed to die if an abortion would save her life?

    And:  Do you believe politicians should be allowed to pass laws restricting the medical decisions of women but not of men? 

    And:  Do you believe the religious beliefs of any religion regarding abortion should be imposed on women who don’t share those beliefs?