Friday, May 23, 2014

About 78% Of Americans Don't Want Abortion Banned

The Gallup Poll has just released their newest survey on the issue of abortion -- taken between May 8th and 11th of a random national sample of 1,028 adults, with a 4 point margin of error. Frankly, I found the headline of the survey more than a little misleading. Their headline was "U.S. Still Split On Abortion". While their initial question (Are you pro-choice or pro-life?) resulted in a finding of 47% pro-choice and 46% pro-life, that makes it sound like 46% of Americans would like to see abortion banned in the United States -- and that simply is not true (and not even close to being true).

A much better question is whether abortion should be legal in this country. That question shows how people really feel about the issue (and not just whether they want to be considered pro-choice or pro-life). The top chart shows how Americans currently feel about the legality of abortion (and the second chart shows the history of how Americans feel about the issue).

Note that only 21% of the public thinks abortion should be banned, while 78% think it should not be banned (with 28% saying it should always be legal, and 50% saying it should be legal with some restrictions). That's only about one out of five people who think abortion should be banned, while nearly four out of five people think it should not be banned.

The truth is that most Americans support the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, and think it is a rational solution to a vexing question. And as the bottom chart shows, they have supported it for quite a while now. Only a tiny minority (21%) disagree.

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