Abortion & Public Opinion
by Texas Right to LifeWednesday, February 01, 2006
Public Opinion over the Years
Ten years ago, most Americans identified themselves as being pro-choice. Now, polls are showing that only about one half of the public is pro-choice, while the other half is Pro-Life. This is a drastic change in opinion that we hope will continue.
The public has consistently stated that they do not support abortion as a means of birth control. Unfortunately, about 93% of abortions are performed for just that reason: inadequate finances, unprepared for the responsibility, disruption in a woman’s life, or a poor relationship with the father of the child. These reasons clearly do not encompass any medical concerns.
Interestingly, a 2003 Gallup found that a majority (53%) of Americans personally consider abortion as morally wrong. Only about one-third (36%) of Americans personally found abortion morally acceptable. Just two years before, in 2001, only 45% of Americans thought abortion was morally wrong.
Recent polls have shown a great divide on opinions regarding abortion. Questions worded differently yield different results, so poll results vary. Whether Pro-Lifers yet outnumber abortion supporters is not entirely clear; however, the Pro-Life movement is gaining support very quickly. All polls show that the American population becomes more Pro-Life each year. Many Americans are rejecting the culture of death and recognizing that abortion is a gruesome practice that harms both women and their children.
Zogby Poll Shows Pro-Life Movement Gaining Support
A January 2006 Zogby poll found that 52% of Americans think abortion should be available to women, while 43% oppose abortion. These numbers show a marked decline in abortion support from the 1990s.
“What is striking to me is that the numbers were radically different ten years ago,” said John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International. “Ten years ago, maybe just seven or eight years ago, pro-choice forces were in the ascendancy and posted pro-choice numbers in the area of 65% to 68%.” Those who are pro-abortion still represent the majority according to this poll—but just barely. If the questions were worded differently, Mr. Zogby may even be surprised with the Pro-Life results.
Gallup Poll Shows Pro-Life Majority
A November 2005 poll conducted by Gallup found that the majority of Americans oppose most abortions and support abortion limits, such as informed consent laws and parental involvement for minors seeking to undergo abortions. They do not, however, yet approve of a Constitutional amendment banning most abortions.
Currently, 54%of Americans oppose either all abortions or all but “the exceptions” (rape, incest, and mother’s life). 39% of those polled agreed that abortion should only be legal in instances of rape, incest, or to prevent the death of the mother. Only 16% thought abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. Conversely, just 42% generally support abortion (26% saying it should always be legal with another 16% saying it should be legal in most circumstances).
Polls have consistently found that the American public favors incremental legislation limiting abortion. This Gallup poll again showed that 69% of Americans support parental involvement laws, while just 28% oppose them. If states continue to pass legislation such as Parental Notification, Woman’s Right to Know, and Partial-Birth Abortion bans, then the number of abortions in our country will continue to decrease, and the society’s acceptance of this vile procedure will continue to decline.