by Steven Ertelt
June 27, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll conducted by a three media outlets finds that teenagers and young adults are more likely than older adults to say that they don’t think abortion should be legal or that it should be subject to stricter limits than it is now. The poll confirms the findings of other surveys showing the next generation of Americans are more pro-life.
The New York Times, CBS News and MTV teamed up for the survey of 659 Americans between the ages of 17 and 29. They conducted the poll from June 15-23.
Although the polling question was poorly worded in obtaining the true views of the young Americans on abortion, it provides some insights compared to older Americans.
The media outlets asked responded if they believe abortion should be "generally available to those who want it," "available but under stricter limits then it is now," or "not be permitted."
A total of 62 percent of young Americans say abortion should not be permitted (24 percent) or more strictly limited (38 percent). That’s higher than the 58 percent of older adults who give the same answers (split 21 and 37 percent respectively).
The poll also found fewer young Americans saying abortion should be available at any time with 37 percent favoring that compared to 39 percent of older adults.
While older adults favored no abortions or limited abortions by a 19 percent margin, that number rose to a 25 percent margin for the teens and young adults.
A January 2006 Hamilton College poll found high school seniors take a pro-life position on abortion saying it’s morally wrong and supporting legislative proposals that would limit abortions and help women find alternatives.
The poll also found 72 percent of females in the class of 2006 would not consider an abortion if they became pregnant.
The Hamilton College poll found a majority of high school seniors do not believe abortions should be allowed for sociological reasons such as when women are too poor to afford another child or unable to have a baby at the time.
Studies from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, find approximately 95 percent of all abortions are done for such reasons, while less than 5 percent are for rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.
When asked, some 67 percent of high school seniors said abortion is either always (23%) or usually (44%) morally wrong. Just 31 percent said it was a morally correct decision.
Meanwhile, an April 2004 Zogby poll found 51.6% of 18-29 year-olds call themselves "pro-life."
"This is remarkable, not just because it confirms that a majority of the post-Roe generation is pro-life, but that they label themselves so," says Holly Smith, director of youth outreach for the National Right to Life Committee.
Though a majority call themselves pro-life, a much larger percentage actually take a pro-life position on abortion.
In the Zogby poll, 60 percent of 18-29 year-olds took one of three varying pro-life positions on abortion while only 39 percent agreed with the three pro-abortion stances.
"Anecdotal evidence and polling over the last several years have demonstrated a clear trend of youth becoming more and more pro-life," Smith indicated.
"America’s youth will never know the unborn victims of abortion, but we know that between one-fourth and one-third of our classmates, friends, teammates and even siblings never saw the light of day because of legal abortion," Smith explained.
"They weren’t with us in the sandboxes and playgrounds, at slumber parties and at high school proms, nor in our college dorms or graduation exercises. And they should have been," Smith said.