Poll: Just 21% of Americans Agree With Obama on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 17, 2011   |   4:38PM   |   Washington, DC

A new national poll conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion finds relatively few Americans agree with the pro-abortion position taken by President Barack Obama favoring keeping abortions legal in all cases throughout pregnancy.

The polling firm released the results of a new survey today and found just 21 percent of Americans believe abortion should be permitted in all cases. Another 18 percent said abortions should be permitted but with the same restrictions on them that are currently in place.

Meanwhile, 13 percent held the pro-life view that all abortions should be illegal and 27 percent took a position opposing 98% of all abortions, saying they should only be legal in the very rare cases such as rape, incest or saving the life of the mother. Another 8 percent say abortions should be legal but subject to more strict limits than are currently in place.

The survey showed women were more likely than men to take a position favoring legal abortions, but within the margin of error — making it so men and women essentially have very similar views on abortion. While 12 percent of Americans are unsure of their abortion position in the poll, women are more unsure — 14-9 percent — than men.

The Angus Reid poll also found Democrats are more likely than Republicans to favor abortion — saying 25-12 percent that they support keeping all abortions legal. Some 36 percent of Democrats took one of the two pro-life positions opposing all or most all abortion compared with 55 percent of Republicans who held to a pro-life view. Independents held slightly more pro-life views than Democrats but their views were closer to Democrats than Republicans.

Asked another way, the poll found just 29 percent taking the “pro-choice” view that abortions should be legal under any circumstances while 49 percent said they should only be legal under certain circumstances and 14 percent said all abortions should be illegal. Women, in this question, were more likely to support abortion and, this time, outside the margin of error.

Here, some 58% of Republicans said abortions should be limited to certain instances while 16 percent said they should all be illegal — compared to 44 percent and 12 percent of Democrats saying the same thing and 51 percent and 13 percent of independents. Just 35 percent of Democrats, 20 percent of Republicans and only 28 percent of independent voters sided with Obama saying abortions should always be legal.

The survey also asked a question about parental consent and whether parents should be informed and required to approve or reject their minor daughter’s request for an abortion.

Angus Reid found 74 percent of Americans back parental consent before an abortion with just 14 percent opposing it and 12 percent having no opinion. Some 69 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of Republicans, and 69 percent of independents support parental consent.

The polling firm asked respondents whether they thought women had enough information on abortion alternatives and 55 percent of Americans said yes while 31 percent said no. Democrats and women were more likely to say they thought women had enough alternative information while Republicans and independents were more likely to say no.

Finally, Angus Reid asked whether the abortion debate should be re-opened, even though it is already quite lively nationwide. Some 42 percent of Americans said the abortion debate should not be opened compared with 37 percent who want a vigorous debate on abortion. While there was little variance in terms of what men and women believe, Republicans favored an abortion debate while Democrats and independents do not.

Recent Gallup and CNN polls found more than 60 percent of Americans want all or most abortions made illegal.