Gallup Polls Finding Younger Americans More Strongly Pro-Life on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Gallup Polls Finding Younger Americans More Strongly Pro-Life on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 12
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The Gallup polling agency released an analysis today of its polling data going back to 1975 and it found that younger Americans are currently more strongly pro-life than middle-aged Americans. The polling results give the pro-life movement hope that public opinion will continue moving in the pro-life direction.

Looking at a combination of its polls from 2005-2009, just 24 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-29 support keeping abortion legal for any reason throughout pregnancy.

That’s less than the 26 percent of 50-64 year-olds who support all legal abortions and less than the 28 percent of 30-49 year-olds who support it. As has been the case since Roe, the oldest Americans above 65 are the most pro-life with only about 16 percent saying they support all abortions.

Looking at it another way in the 2005-2009 polls, 23 percent of 18-29 year-olds say all abortions should be illegal compared with 17 percent of those 30-49 and those 50-64. The number is even higher than those 65+, 21 percent of whom want all abortions illegal.

"As a result, 18- to 29-year-olds are now roughly tied with seniors as the most likely of all age groups to hold this position on abortion — although all four groups are fairly close in their views. This is a sharp change from the late 1970s, when seniors were substantially more likely than younger age groups to want abortion to be illegal," Gallup noted.

The polling agency also noted that generational differences in support for broadly legal abortion have diminished over the past decade.

"In the mid-1970s, when Gallup started polling on the issue, adults aged 18 to 29 and 30 to 49 were the most supportive of legal abortion under any circumstances, and those 65 and older the least, with 50- to 64-year-olds falling in between. That pattern continued through the late 1990s. Since 2000, however, all age groups with the exception of seniors have shown similar levels of support for broadly legal abortion," the polling firm noted.

Ed Morrissey, a pro-life writer at HotAir, noticed the Gallup results and said he is pleased to see that, since the early 1990s, support for abortion has consistently declined.

"The ‘illegal in all circumstances’ is an absolutionist position, and is a minority opinion among all groups. However, also among all groups, support for restrictions on abortion have been rising since the mid-1990s. That has a majority among all age groups in this latest survey," Morrissey writes.

He says the Gallup polling has an impact on the abortion-health care debate.

"Given the centrality of abortion to the ObamaCare debate, the latest news from Gallup should have Democrats concerned about the future of their party," he writes.

"They spent the last few months attempting to push through Congress a mechanism that would provide federal funding of abortions, which has stalled the bill in the House and threatens to kill ObamaCare. As Democrats attempt this, the youth vote that they so assiduously courted in 2008 has grown more anti-abortion," he concludes.

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