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U.S. public opinion polls: Year 2005

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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?"


bullet41% favored making abortion illegal with a few exceptions.
bullet24% favored making abortion always legal
bullet19% favored making abortion legal most of the time.
bullet12% 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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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."


bullet37% favor stricter limits. This is a decrease of one percentage point from a similar poll on 2003-JAN.
bullet35% favor general availability. This is a decrease of 4 percentage points.
bullet25% favor no abortion access. This is a decrease of one percentage point.

Margin of error 4

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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?"


bullet55% responded sometimes legal. This is an increase of 1 percentage point from a similar poll in 1975
bullet23% always legal; this is an increase of 2 percentage points.
bullet20% always illegal; this is reduction of 2 percentage points.
bullet2% uncertain.

Margin of error 3 percentage points.

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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 a few 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 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%.

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  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/

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

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Copyright 2005 and 2006, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2006-NOV-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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