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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...


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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.