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Abortion access:

U.S. public opinion polls: Year 2005 and later

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2005-JAN: Los Angeles Times Poll:

This was taken on 2005-JAN-14 to 18. They asked 1,118 randomly selected American adults the question: "Which comes closest to your view on abortion: abortion should always be legal, or should be legal most of the time, or should be made illegal except in cases of rape, incest and to save the mother's life, or abortion should be made illegal without any exceptions?"

Results:

bullet 41% favored making abortion illegal with a few exceptions.
bullet 24% favored making abortion always legal
bullet 19% favored making abortion legal most of the time.
bullet 12% favored making abortion totally illegal.

Margin of error ±3% percentage points. It is notable that 12% of American adults would totally prohibit all abortions, including those needed to save the life of the mother.

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2005-MAR: CBS News Poll:

This was taken on 2005-MAR-21 & 22. They asked 737 randomly selected American adults the question: "Which of these comes closest to your view? Abortion should be generally available to those who want it. OR, Abortion should be available, but under stricter limits than it is now. OR, Abortion should not be permitted."

Results:

bullet 37% favor stricter limits. This is a decrease of one percentage point from a similar poll on 2003-JAN.
bullet 35% favor general availability. This is a decrease of 4 percentage points.
bullet 25% favor no abortion access. This is a decrease of one percentage point.

Margin of error ±4

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2005-MAR: CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll:

This was taken on 2005-MAR-21 to 23. They asked 1,001 randomly selected American adults the question: "Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?"

Results:

bullet 55% responded sometimes legal. This is an increase of 1 percentage point from a similar poll in 1975
bullet 23% always legal; this is an increase of 2 percentage points.
bullet 20% always illegal; this is reduction of 2 percentage points.
bullet 2% uncertain.

Margin of error ±3 percentage points.

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2005: Gallup/CNN/USA Today polls:

A series of polls were taken of American adults during May, June and November, 2005. 2 They seem to show a significant shift in the pro-choice direction: First, they asked the question: "Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?" Results were:

Response: 2005-MAY 2005-JUN 2005-NOV
Legal under any circumstances 23% 24% 26%
Legal under most circumstances 12% 15% 16%
Legal only under certain circumstances 40% 40% 39%
Illegal in all circumstances 22% 20% 16%
No opinion/no response 3% 1% 3%

In their 2005-NOV poll they asked the additional question: "Next, do you favor or oppose each of the following proposals:"

Question: Favor Oppose
A law requiring women under 18 to get parental consent for any abortion 69% 28%
A law requiring that the husband of a married woman be notified if she decides to have an abortion 64% 34%
A constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all circumstances, except when necessary to save the life of the mother 37% 61%

We have a vague hunch that the shift in support for and against abortion access was indirectly caused by President Bush's nomination of two new conservative Supreme Court justices. For the first time in over three decades, the possibility of re-criminalization of abortion has become real, and American adults might be seriously thinking about the future.

The margin of error is ±4 percentage points.

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2011-SEP-10: CNN/ORC International poll:

ORC International conducted a survey among 1,038 adult Americans of whom 943 were registered voters, calling both landlines and cell phones.

The question asked was:

"Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal under only certain
circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?

If the individual answered ""only certain circumstances" an additional question was asked:

"Do you think abortion should be legal in most circumstances or only a few circumstances?" 3

Response: Total
Legal under any circumstances
25%
Legal in most circumstances 41%
Illegal in all circumstances 21%
Undecided, or did not answer 1%

These results could be interepreted as implying that:

  • 25% of American adults are strongly pro-choice.
  • 21% are strongly pro-life.
  • 41% take an intermediate position.

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2014-AUG-10: NARAL Pro-choice America's national survey:

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted the poll. They asked a question of 800 registered voters:

"I am going read you some statements about the issue of abortion, and please tell me which one comes closest to your own view:" 4

Response: Total
I believe having an abortion is morally acceptable and should be legal
23.2%
I am personally against abortion for myself and my family, but I don't believe government should prevent a woman from making that decision for herself. 45.5%
I believe having an abortion is morally wrong and should be illegal 24.7%
Other response 1.9%
Undecided, or did not answer 4.8%

This is an interesting poll, because it can be quoted by both pro-life and pro-choice groups to support their position:

  • Pro-life groups can claim correctly that 70.2% of American adults are personally opposed to abortion. That is, they may be considered pro-life!

  • Pro-choice groups can claim correctly that 68.7% of American adults believe that women should have the freedom to choose abortion without government restrictions. That is, they may be considered are pro-choice!

This is a win-win situation for both groups.

The margin of error is ±3.5 percentage points.

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References:

  1. "Abortion and birth control," PollingReport.com, at: http://www.pollingreport.com/
  2. "Little change in U.S. abortion opinions," Angus Reid Consultants, 2005-DEC-03, at: http://www.angus-reid.com/
  3. "CNN/ORC Poll." CNN, 2011-SEP-15, at: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/
  4. Steven Ertelt, "Pro-Abortion Group’s Own Poll Finds Just 23% of Americans Say Abortion’s Morally Okay ," Life News, 2014-AUG-18, at: http://www.lifenews.com/

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" religious topics > Abortion > Polls > here

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Copyright © 2005 to 2014, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2014-AUG-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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