Poll: Majority of Americans Say They’re Pro-Life on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 24, 2011   |   8:36PM   |   Washington, DC

The newest national poll on abortion finds a majority of Americans still consider themselves pro-life when it comes to the issue of abortion compared to those who say they’re “pro-choice.”

That’s what Gallup called the “new normal” when it conducted surveys over the last couple of years finding a majority of Americans are pro-life.

A new Fox news poll asks the question: “On the issue of abortion, would you say you are more pro-life or more prochoice?”

The survey found 50 percent of Americans say they are pro-life while just 42 percent say they are pro-choice on abortion. Another 5 percent said they were sort of a mix between the two positions while 3 percent said they don’t know where they stand on abortion.

Breaking down the survey results further, Republicans indicated they are pro-life on a 69-26 percentage point margin, independents declare themselves pro-life on a 47-41 percentage point margin while fully one-third of Democrats (32 percent) say they are pro-life compared with 59 percent who say they are not.

The overall 50-42 percent pro-life figure is relatively unchanged from the 49-43 percent margin Fox News found in its May 2009 poll asking the same question. But, it represents a new high compared with responses to the questioned asked each year since 1997. The lowest point in the poll, in July 2000, saw 38 percent of Americans say they are pro-life compared with 54 percent saying they supported abortion.

A May 2010 Gallup poll found 47 percent of Americans say they are pro-life on abortion versus 45 percent who say they are “pro-choice,” supporting legal abortions. That was nearly identical to the 47% to 46% division Gallup found in July 2009 which was down from the 51-42 percent split favoring the pro-life position in May 2009.

Because it was the third consecutive time Gallup had found with more Americans taking the pro-life position, the polling firm called the results “a real change in public opinion.”

Looking at the Gallup polling data dating back to 1995, the pro-life movement has been successful in changing public opinion on abortion — as Gallup found a 56-33 percent pro-abortion split in 1995. That 23 percent pro-abortion majority has shifted 25 percent towards the pro-life position to the pro-life majority the movement against abortion enjoys today.

“All age groups have become more attached to the pro-life label since 2005, with particularly large increases among young adults and those aged 50 to 64 years,” the poll noted.