"Pro-choice" Americans at Record Low, Survey Finds

Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
Healthy Living

According to data from a new Gallup poll released today, the number of Americans who identify themselves as pro-choice is at a record low.

When asked, "With respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself to be pro-choice or pro-life?", 41 percent of American adults -- a new record low -- said that they're pro-choice, down from 47 percent last July. Fifty percent replied that they consider themselves pro-life, compared with about 46 percent last year -- close to the record set in May 2009, when 51 percent of those polled said they were pro-life.

When Gallup started asking Americans about their views on abortion, in 1995, 56 percent said they were pro-choice and 33 percent said they were pro-life.

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The decline in pro-choice supporters was consistent across political party lines. Among Republicans, the number of people who identified as pro-choice fell from 28 percent to 22 percent while those who call themselves pro-life increased from 68 percent to 72 percent. Independents who say they're pro-life outnumber pro-choice independents for only the second time since 2001; now, 47 percent say they're pro-life (up from 41 percent in 2011) and 41 percent say they're pro-choice (down from 51 percent in 2011). Democrats views on abortion changed as well: The number of pro-choice Democrats dropped from 68 percent to 58 percent over the last year, and pro-life Democrats rose from 27 percent to 34 percent. (Out of the 1,024 people interviewed by Gallup, 47 percent said they were Democratic while 41 percent said they were Republican.)

But in spite of the fact that the pro-life position has risen sharply over the past three years, the vast majority of people in the United States -- 77 percent -- say that abortion should be safe and legal, at least in some circumstances. Only 20 percent said that they think abortion should be against the law in all cases, even for victims of rape and incest and even when the mother's life is in danger. Those numbers are about the same as they were last year.

Still, people's views on the morality of abortion have remained consistent: 51 percent say that they consider abortion to be morally wrong, while 38 percent say it is morally acceptable, Gallup reported.

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