Friday, May 15, 2009

Gallup detects shift in attitudes toward abortion

For the first time since Gallup began attitudes attitudes about abortion in 1995, more Americans identify themselves as "pro-life" than as "pro-choice."

The new results, obtained from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002.

The May 2009 survey documents comparable changes in public views about the legality of abortion. In answer to a question providing three options for the extent to which abortion should be legal, about as many Americans now say the procedure should be illegal in all circumstances (23%) as say it should be legal under any circumstances (22%). This contrasts with the last four years, when Gallup found a strong tilt of public attitudes in favor of unrestricted abortion.
I wonder how long it will be before conservatives cite these results to claim that Obama has no mandate to appoint a Supreme Court justice who favors reproductive freedom.

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