CNN has released the results of a new poll showing a majority of Americans want all or most abortions prohibited — a clear pro-life majority.
The survey asked: “Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal under only certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?” Some 62 percent want abortions illegal in all cases or legal only in certain instances while just 35% want abortions legal for any reason.
Breaking down the question further, CNN asked, “Do you think abortion should be legal in most circumstances or only a few circumstances?”
Here, 52 percent took a pro-life view saying abortion should be illegal in all (15%) or most circumstances (37%) while just 44 percent took a pro-abortion view saying abortions should be legal in all (35%) or most (9%) circumstances.
Looking more closely at when abortions should be legal, CNN asked about if they should be allowed when the woman’s life is endangered. Americans agreed with that on a 88-9 percentage point margin. In cases of rape and incest, Americans supported legal abortions on a 83-14 percentage point margin. And when the woman’s health is supposedly in danger from the pregnancy, Americans were alright with abortion on a 83-12 percentage point margin.
That makes it clear Americans only support abortion in the most rare instances and clear oppose abortions in the 99 percent of cases when abortion is chosen for convenience, social or birth control reasons.
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Interviews with 1,055 adult Americans were conducted by telephone by ORC International on August 22-23, 2012 for CNN. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The sample also includes 924 interviews among registered voters (plus or minus 3 percentage points) and 719 interviews among likely voters (plus or minus 3.5 percentage points).