by Steven Ertelt
January 20, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new Gallup poll surveys the attitude of Americans on abortion in advance of the 33rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout pregnancy for any reason. The poll finds that abortion continues to be a very controversial issue.
According to the Jan. 6-8 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, about half of Americans consider themselves "pro-choice" while 42 percent say they are pro-life.
Some observers say a self-identification poll question can be misleading compared to questions that ask specific positions on abortion.
A November 2005 Gallup poll asked when Americans thought abortion should be legal and 54 percent of Americans oppose either all or most abortions while just 42 percent say abortion should always be legal or legal in most circumstances.
The January 2006 poll also asked Americans about making abortion laws more strict and 38 percent agreed that should happen while 20 percent said they should be less strict.
The new poll also finds that a majority of Americans say abortion is important in terms of how they vote.
Some 52 percent say abortion is extremely or very important to their Congressional vote while 46 percent say its moderately or not very important.
Abortion is more likely to be rated extremely important today than it was four years ago — 27% in 2006 vs. 18% in 2002 — implying Americans have intensified their views.
The new Gallup poll follows the release of a CBS News survey that found 55 percent of Americans took a pro-life position on abortion while just 42 percent indicated they support legalized abortion.
The January Gallup poll was conducted with 1,003 adults, aged 18 and older from January 6-8 and 1,003 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Jan. 9-12. There is a 3 percent margin of error.