Abortion in the Polls

Americans do not support abortion-on-demand (1)

Americans reject the effects of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton of legalizing abortion for all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Only 26 percent of Americans support the current legal status of abortion. More Americans also say they are "pro-life" than "pro-choice."

Abortion should be:

Legal under any circumstances: 26%
Legal under most circumstances: 13%
Legal only in a few circumstances: 38%
Illegal in all circumstances: 20%

"With respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself to be pro-choice or pro-life?"

Pro-life: 48%

Pro-choice: 45%

There is no significant difference between men's and women's views on abortion (1)

Contrary to the false idea that abortion protects women's rights, both men and women share very similar views about abortion.

Abortion should be:

Legal under any circumstances (men): 24%

Legal under any circumstances (women): 28%

Legal under most circumstances (men): 13%

Legal under most circumstances (women): 12%

Legal only in a few circumstances (men) : 39%

Legal only in a few circumstances (women): 37%

Illegal in all circumstances (men): 20%

Illegal in all circumstances (women): 20%

Americans do not support late-term abortions (2)

Polls have routinely found that majorities and pluralities of Americans support legislation banning late-term abortions.

"Some state legislatures are proposing banning abortion after 20 weeks postfertilization unless the life of the mother is in immediate danger. People who support this ban say 20 weeks after fertilization is the point at which the fetus is capable of experiencing pain. People who oppose this ban say medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor and government should not be invovled. How about you?"

Should ban: 44%

Feel strongly that way: 38%

Should not ban: 37%

Feel strongly that way: 31%

No opinion/not sure: 19%

Young people are prolife (3)

Support for abortion is strongest among middle-aged people who were born before or soon after Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Prolife beliefs are highest among seniors and young people, with a close majority of those 18-29 saying abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Illegal in all or most cases:
18-29: 48%
30-49: 41%
50-64: 41%
65+: 48%

Legal in all or most cases:
18-29: 47%
30-49: 50%
50-64: 47%
65+: 36%

Americans support greater regulations on obtaining abortions (4)

Three-times more Americans believe that access to abortion is too easy rather than too hard. Only 15% believe that there are too many barriers for mothers seeking to abort their child.

Getting an abortion in America is:

Too easy: 48%

Too hard: 15%

Just right : 23%

Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions (5)

A strong majority of Americans oppose the use of their taxpayers dollars to fund abortions, and disapprove of the new system set up in federal health care reform to pay for abortion with insurance.

Say someone buys private health insurance using government assistance to help pay for it. Do you think insurance sold that way should or should not be allowed to include coverage for abortions?

Include coverage for abortions: 42%
Not include coverage for abortions: 58%

Lower income Americans are more likely to oppose insurance coverage for abortion (5)

Many who support abortion argue that we need to pay for abortions with tax dollars because poor people don't have access to reproductive health care. Contrary to that argument, the less money you make the more likely you are to oppose both taxpayer funding of abortion and even private insurance coverage of abortion.

Now thinking about women who are covered by private health insurance plans that are paid for by private individuals or employers with no money from the government involved. Do you think private insurance plans should cover some or all of the costs of an abortion, or do you think that women who want an abortion should have to pay the complete costs of that abortion out of their own pockets?

Plans cover some/all:

Less than $25k: 39.6%
$25k - $49.9k: 47.5%
$50k - $99.9k: 65.0%
More than $100k: 65.3%

Women pay all costs:

Less than $25k: 60.4%
$25k - $49.9k: 52.5%
$50k - $99.9k: 35.0%
More than $100k: 34.7%

Americans would ban more than 90% of abortions (6)

A majority of Americans, given their stated views, would ban more than 90% of abortions tomorrow if Roe v. Wade were overturned and they were allowed to vote.

When asked about their primary reason for seeking an abortion, less than 1% of women said it was because of rape, less that 1% due to incest, 4% listed their health and 3% said the health of their child.

While Right to Life of Michigan believes that abortion is not the answer to a pregnancy which is the result of sexual assault, a recognition of current popular opinion would bring a welcome end to more than one million abortions every year.

Which ONE of the following statements comes closest to your opinion on abortion?

Abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy: 9%
Abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of a pregnancy: 7%
Abortion should be allowed only during the first three months of a pregnancy: 28%
Abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother: 33%
Abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother: 12%
Abortion should never be permitted under any circumstance: 11%



1 - Gallup poll of 1,535 adults conducted May 2-7, 2013. www.gallup.com

2 - Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of 1,000 adults conducted July 17-21, 2013. online.wsj.com
3 - Pew Research Center poll of 3,013 adults conducted March 31-April 21, 2009. people-press.org

4 - Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted August 11-12, 2010. www.rasmussenreports.com
5 - Thomson Reuters poll of 3,013 adults conducted March 1-14, 2011. www.factsforhealthcare.com
6 - Knights of Columbus/Marist poll of 2,001 adults conducted Dec. 10-15, 2013. www.kofc.org/un/en/news/polls/
7 - Finer, L. et al (2005). Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 37(3).

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