Country Remains Divided on Abortion Issue

Gallup polling shows that the issue of abortion continues to split Americans down the middle, though for the first time since 2008 a slight majority call themselves "pro-choice" (49%), just eking out those who identify as "pro-life" (45%). But despite this change, a majority of Americans (51%) still believe abortion to be "morally wrong," with only 39% asserting that it is "morally acceptable." Excluding 2006, when results showed Americans to be divided on the moral aspect of the issue, results regarding morality have been "fairly steady since 2002."
50% of Americans answer that abortion should be legal under certain circumstances, but this year's results suggest that more people are taking extreme views on the legality of abortion than they have historically. 27% answered that abortion should be legal in all cases while 22% wanted it to be illegal in all cases. The 49% combined believing in either of the extreme views was the highest since 1992.

Americans were fairly consistent in their opinions on abortion across gender. Age and partisan views appear to be a far more likely predictor of an individual's stance on the issue. 49% of adults 55 and older said they were "pro-life," as compared with majorities of those aged 35-54 (53%) and 18-34 (51%) who said they were "pro-choice." And while 68% of Democrats claimed to be "pro-choice," a full 67% of Republicans took the opposite stance, saying they were "pro-life."Writes Gallup about the results for 2011: "Americans' views on abortion held fairly steady over the past year, with the public still sharply divided over the 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' labels."

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