Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans Pro-Life on Abortion, Highest Levels in 15 Years

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Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans Pro-Life on Abortion, Highest Levels in 15 Years

A new Gallup poll shows that the majority of Americans self-identify as pro-life on the issue of abortion for the first time in 15 years. The Gallup survey shows the percentage of Americans saying they are pro-life at its highest point since 1995 and those saying they are “pro-choice” at its lowest.
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The Gallup new survey, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves pro-life and just 42% saying they are “pro-choice” and supporting legal abortions.
The poll finds a plurality of women say they are pro-life, with 49% saying so and just 44% saying they are “pro-choice.” Men favor the pro-life position on a 54 to 39% margin. According to a report in, both numbers are record highs for the pro-life position.
The 9% pro-life majority is a stark change from last year, when the Gallup survey showed a 6% majority in favor of abortion. Before the current poll Gallup had the pro-life percentage at its highest at 46% in both August 2001 and May 2002.
The Gallup poll also shows more Americans support making abortions illegal than at any point in the past 15 years.
About as many Americans now say abortions should be illegal in all circumstances (23%) as say it should be legal under any circumstances (22%). Another 53% of Americans say abortions should be legal, but only under certain circumstances.
Gallup does not define those circumstances, but a report in states that other polling data shows a majority of Americans oppose the lion’s share of abortions, with a majority wanting abortions illegal except in cases such as saving the life of the mother, and rape or incest – which, combined, constitute less than 2% – 3% of all abortions.
Supplementing those other poll results, an expended Gallup question in its new survey found 50% of Americans want abortions illegal or illegal in most cases, while just 37% want abortions legal in all or most cases. The rest were unsure.
The results came in Gallup’s new Values and Beliefs survey, but the pro-life majority also showed up in Gallup’s daily tracking poll on a number of political issues.
Gallup also showed pro-life increases among religious groups with 59% of Protestant Christians, a new high, saying they are pro-life. Some 52% of Catholics identify themselves as pro-life, tying a previous high, and 31% of people who identify with no religion say they are pro-life, one short of a previous high.
Gallup editor Lydia Saad suggests that President Barack Obama’s pro-abortion position is the cause of the pro-life shift.
“With the first pro-choice president in eight years already making changes to the nation’s policies on funding abortion overseas, expressing his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, and moving toward rescinding federal job protections for medical workers who refuse to participate in abortion procedures, Americans – and, in particular, Republicans – seem to be taking a step back from the pro-choice position,” she writes.
“While Democrats may support that, as they generally support everything Obama is doing as president, it may be driving others in the opposite direction,” she adds.
“That’s a historic event from the pro-life perspective,” American Life League president Judie Brown told She called the poll results are “excellent signs for progress.”
Brown said the poll shows that grassroots-level pro-life education is paying off, and also that “people have begun to see through the deception of politicians who claim that they favor a woman’s right but in fact don’t favor anybody’s rights, except the right to be re-elected.”
Regarding the sharp upturn in pro-life identification over the past year, Brown agreed that the heavily pro-abortion agenda of President Obama has likely worked in favor of the pro-life movement.
“I think that people have now envisioned – maybe for the first time in some of their lives, because abortion has been decriminalized for so long – they envision an enemy who is very deceptive, and who never met an abortion he didn’t like, and people are beginning to understand that, to see through him – and that’s a great plus for us.
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