by Steven Ertelt
December 17, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll on the topic of abortion finds that the attitude Americans have on the controversial political issue is moving in the pro-life direction. The Washington Post /ABC news survey find a six percent shift in public opinion towards the pro-life direction in the last six months.
The media outlets conducted a poll from December 6 to 9 of 1,136 American adults and the survey contained 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?"
The wording of the poll is cause for some concern because it doesn’t identify when abortions are done so respondents can identify the exact cases when they support or oppose abortions.
While the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research arm of Planned Parenthood, shows that fewer than two percent of all abortions are done in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life, most Americans think those "hard case" abortions occur much more often.
Still, the poll is instructive because it finds the pro-life margin is increasing.
The latest results find that 53 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal with 18 percent saying in all cases and 35 percent saying in most cases.
The survey found 44 percent of Americans take a pro-life position saying abortions should be illegal, with 27 percent saying most should be illegal and 17 percent saying all abortions should be prohibited.
That 53-44 percent split is a change from the same Washington Post-ABC News survey conducted in July, which found a 57-42 percentage point split.
That means the pro-abortion side has seen its margin shrink in the poll from 15 percent to 9 percent in the span of six months.
Other surveys with more accurate questions on when Americans oppose abortion find a pro-life split with about 55 percent opposing most or all abortions and 45 percent wanting to keep most or all abortions legal.
A recent Fox News poll reveals that a majority of Americans oppose the overwhelming majority of abortions that take place in the United States and a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times survey found 50 percent of Americans opposed all or almost all abortions.
Surveys from CBS News reveal that a majority of Americans oppose abortions in about 98 percent of all cases.