New Gallup poll on Abortion

Posted by on Jun 19, 2016 in Prayer, Society

New Gallup poll on Abortion

The latest Gallup poll

in May 2016 shows the number of Americans who consider themselves “pro-choice” has dropped to 47 percent, down from 50 percent last year. The poll also shows that 46 percent of Americans identify themselves as “pro-life” this year, up from 44 percent last year.

Review the chart below to see how little the numbers have fluctuated over the years:


In analyzing the data, Gallup notes:

Gallup began asking Americans to define themselves as pro-choice or pro-life on abortion in 1995, and since then, identification with the labels has shifted from a wide lead for the pro-choice position in the mid-1990s, to a generally narrower lead for “pro-choice” — from 1998 through 2008 — to a close division between the two positions since 2009.

In other words, attitudes toward abortion have been pretty evenly split for many years. The following Gallup poll chart shows the stability of the “absolute” and “qualified” pro-life stand in another way:


Currently 69 percent of Americans feel that access to abortion should be illegal entirely or legally limited in some way, while only 29 percent agree with abortion on demand. From a “pro-life” perspective, this is an improvement from the lowest recorded ebb in 1993 where only 61 percent were in favor of legal limitations, while 34 percent favored abortion on demand. Compare these numbers with attitudes expressed in the mid-1970s where a full 74 percent favored legal limitations, while only 22 percent agreed with abortion on demand.

People tend to think that the Supreme Court decision in “Roe vs Wade” was an expression of democratic sentiment rather than an unpopular decision from the bench and discount the national soul-searching that has continued unabated for over 40 years. One commentator, Joe Scarborough, said he thinks advances in technology over the years may play a large role in why the numbers have not drifted steadily toward the “pro-choice” position:

You now have the technology that not only takes parents inside so early. And it’s three-dimensional imaging and you sit there and you know what you do? You tear up. That’s what you do…The imagery that’s allowing parents to see their unborn children earlier, that’s having an impact. I remember seeing the 3-D imagery, and as I walked out of the office, I said ‘This is going to change the abortion debate. This is gonna change that because you see that and you immediately go ‘Ok, you can call it what you want to call it, but that’s a human being in there.’ That’s not a political statement. That is a statement as a dad.

Click here to review a summary of Gallup poll abortion results over the years.

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