by Steven Ertelt
March 5, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new national poll conducted last month by ABC News and the Washington Post finds that the level of support for legalized abortion is on the decline. Meanwhile, the number of people who say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases in on the rise.
The media outlets conducted the poll from February 22-25 with telephone interviews with 1,082 American adults and it has a three percent margin of error.
The poll asked respondents: "Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?"
Pro-life advocates say such polls are inaccurate because the question leaves it up to the respondent to determine when abortion is typically done.
Though many Americans may think abortion is frequently done in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother, statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a Planned Parenthood affiliate that tracks abortion figures, finds less than two percent of all abortions are done for those reasons.
The poll found 55 percent of Americans want abortion legal in all or most cases while 43 percent want it illegal in all or most cases.
The support for abortion is dropping as 57 percent wanted abortion legal all or most of the time in their December 2005 poll. The new survey also showed that the percentage of Americans who want abortion legal in all cases has dropped from 20 percent in April 2005 to 16 percent today.
Meanwhile, more Americans are taking a pro-life view as 40 percent wanted abortion illegal in all or most cases in December 2005 and 43 percent favor that view today.
Factoring in the poll’s bias in favor of abortion based on the inaccurate wording and it appears that Americans are evenly split on the issue of abortion.
Other surveys show that a majority of Americans want to prohibit abortions in all or most cases or want greater restrictions on abortions.
A January CBS News poll found 47 percent of Americans want to prohibit all or most abortions and 16 percent want them to be greatly restricted.
About 30 percent of those polled want to limit abortions to the very rare cases of rape, incest or life of the mother and another 12 percent want abortions allowed only in when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life. Another 5 percent said abortions should always be illegal.
Just 31 percent of the public wants to permit abortion in all cases.
A November Newsweek poll found the number of pro-life Americans rose 5 percent while the number of Americans who support abortion fell four percent compared to a previous poll it conducted in 2005.
Meanwhile, a March 2006 Zogby poll also found that Americans support limits on abortion by wide margins.
It showed 69 percent of voters agree with prohibiting federal taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions, 69 percent support parental notification for girls 16 or younger and by a 55 percent for girls 18 and younger.
Zogby found 56 percent of Americans back a 24-hour waiting period on abortion, 64 percent would charge criminals with a second crime for killing or injuring an unborn child in the course of an attack on a pregnant woman, and 69 percent don’t want their tax money to pay for abortions or promoting abortion in other nations.