South Dakota Poll Shows Residents, Women Pro-Life on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 18, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Poll Shows Residents, Women Pro-Life on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 18, 2004

Sioux Falls, SD ( — A new poll of South Dakota residents shows that a majority favor making it illegal or restricting it to very limited circumstances. The poll also reveals that women are just as likely to take a pro-life stance opposing all or virtually all abortions than men.

Residents of the Western state were asked whether abortion should be legal, illegal or limited to the rare situations of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

Some 63 percent of those poll took a pro-life position saying that abortion ought to be illegal (25%) or only allowed in the limited cases, meaning the respondent favors making more than 95 percent of all abortions illegal.

Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood of South Dakota-Minnesota, told KELO-TV, the poll sponsor, "An overwhelming majority of people in South Dakota support access to safe and legal abortions."

However, the poll doesn’t confirm Looby’s view.

Only 34 percent of South Dakotans said abortion "should be legal and the decision to have an abortion should be made by the woman without government interference."

Contrary to claims by abortion advocates that women back legal abortion, women were more likely than men say it should be illegal and just as likely to say abortion ought to be either illegal or restricted to very rare cases.

More women than said abortion should be illegal (28 percent to 22 percent) and about the same percentage said abortion should be illegal or limited to the rare circumstances (62 percent for women and 64 percent for men).

KELO-TV in Sioux Falls released the poll results of 800 people on Monday. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.