More Americans View Abortion as Wrong
Special Report - June 7, 2011
A new poll for National Public Radio (NPR) finds that a strong majority of Americans, especially young Americans, believe having an abortion is wrong. The poll, which was conducted in March by Thomas Reuters for NPR, asked, “Do you personally believe having an abortion is wrong?” Almost 60 percent of Americans said yes, while slightly more than 40 percent disagreed. The populace seems to be becoming more pro-life as nearly two-thirds of young Americans under age 35 consider abortion wrong, according to the poll.
In addition to asking about individual beliefs on the morality of abortion, the poll also asked respondents whether abortions “should be legal in all cases; legal in most cases; illegal in most cases; or illegal in all cases.” Those responses were less pro-life, with almost 52 percent of Americans wanting abortions to be legal in most or all cases. Still, the youngest respondents were again the most pro-life, with 57 percent of those under 35 wanting most or all abortions to be illegal. Finally, 58 percent of Americans oppose public funding of abortions in health insurance plans. Acceptance of both the legality and morality of abortion increases among those with higher incomes and more education.
The NPR poll comes on the heels of a recent Gallup poll that found that more than six in 10 Americans consider abortion to be morally wrong and want all or most abortions to be illegal. In the Gallup poll, released May 23, Americans are pro-life by a 24 percent margin, with 61 percent agreeing that abortions should never be legal, or that abortions should only be legal in a few circumstances. According to Gallup polling, a growing majority of Americans have held pro-life views since 1994, with the majority viewing abortion as “morally wrong” since 2001.
Interestingly, despite a growing majority of Americans who consider abortion to be wrong, the Gallup poll continued to find that more Americans consider themselves “pro-choice”49 percent, compared to 45 percent “pro-life.” This year is the first since 2008 in which more Americans self-identify as pro-choice.
Majority of Americans Now Pro-Life - May 19, 2009
Majority of Americans Favor Laws Limiting Abortions - January 12, 2009
Poll Finds Public Opinion Reversal on Roe - May 23, 2007
Abortion Polls - March 13, 2006
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