Poll: Majority of Americans Say Abortion Morally Wrong

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 18, 2011   |   11:25AM   |   Washington, DC

A majority of Americans surveyed in a new national poll say they believe abortion is morally wrong — and that includes a good percentage of people who call themselves “pro-choice on abortion.”

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds 53 percent  of voters consider abortion morally wrong most of the time, while just 32% say it is morally acceptable most of the time. Another 15 percent of American voters are undecided.

The new Rasmussen poll finds more Americans say they are “pro-choice” on abortion — which runs counter to recent polling data from the Gallup organization — as it finds 50 percent saying they are “pro-choice” and 40 percent saying they are pro-life on abortion.

But the morally wrong question makes it appear many of the voters who self-declare as “pro-choice” are truly pro-life as Rasussens’s polling data found 22% of “pro-choice” voters agree with 91% of pro-lifers that abortion is morally wrong most of the time. Another 24 percent of those who consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion are undecided, and can’t say that they think most abortions are morally okay.

In fact, just half of “pro-choice” people (54%) are strongly pro-abortion enough to say they think abortions are morally alright most of the time.

A majority of Republicans (62%) consider themselves pro-life, while just as many Democrats (67%) consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion. Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters not affiliated with either party also say they are “pro-choice.” Seventy percent of GOP voters say most abortions are morally wrong as do 44 percent of those not affiliated with either party while Democrats are evenly divided on the question.

The new survey also found 49 percent of voters feel it is too easy for someone to get an abortion in the United States whereas just 10 percent believe it is too difficult and 34 percent say it’s about right.

Most voters (56%) believe there should be a mandatory waiting period before a woman can get an abortion while just 33 percent say there should be no waiting period. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans and 49% of both Democrats and unaffiliated voters agree that there should be a waiting period before a woman gets an abortion.

Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential elections, 58 percent of American voters say abortion is at least somewhat important in terms of how they vote, with 36% who say it is very important. Only 40 percent of voters say abortion is not important in terms of their voting.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 14-15 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is three percent with a 95% level of confidence.