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Published On: Mon, Jun 18th, 2018

Study: More Americans favor ‘more restrictive laws’ on abortion, only 20% after first trimester

New polling data from Gallup indicates that a majority of U.S. citizens continue to favor banning most abortions.

20 week baby photo/ screenshot of YouTube video

On Monday, Gallup released a new report on its annual survey of American abortion attitudes. While respondents’ self-labeling remains evenly divided, with 48% each identifying as “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” more specific questions reveal that a clear majority wants to ban most abortions.

A combined 53% of Americans favor legal abortion in “few” or “no” circumstances, while just 43% think abortion should be legal in “all” or “most” circumstances.

The survey finds that the public is “favoring more restrictive rather than less restrictive laws.”

These findings have been remarkably durable for more than two decades, as 54% or more have given Gallup the same answer every year from 1995 through 2017.

“Although there has been some variation in past years, Americans have typically been closely split on whether they consider themselves pro-choice or pro-life, particularly since 2000, when the averages have been 47% pro-choice and 46% pro-life,” the report explains. “During the 1990s — when Gallup first asked the question — more Americans personally identified as pro-choice than as pro-life by 51% to 40%, on average.”

Gallup also finds that 48% of Americans consider abortion immoral and just 43% consider it moral. A majority has never declared abortion moral since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.

Marist’s January 2018 survey found a much higher majority, 56%, willing to say abortion is morally wrong.

The numbers serve as a dramatic rebuke to Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens, who claimed last week in a Medium op-ed that the Trump administration’s pro-life agenda appeals only to a “tiny sliver of voters.”

Other notables:

The number of Americans who believe abortion should be available past the first trimester is 20%, the exact same amount that would limit abortion to saving a mother’s life.

Only 12% Americans favor allowing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and only 36% of Americans support taxpayer funding of abortion.

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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