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Poll: More Than Half Americans Oppose Abortion under Most Circumstances

( [email protected] ) Mar 11, 2014 12:41 PM EDT
Two Recent Polls show most Americans line up as pro-life, oppose abortion. A new poll conducted by CNN and released March 5 shows support for abortion is dwindling in America, with over half Americans opposing abortion, most of the time. In fact, 58% of those surveyed believed that abortion should be legal under "few" or "no" circumstances.

A new poll conducted by CNN and released March 5 shows support for abortion is dwindling in America, with over half Americans opposing abortion, most of the time. In fact, 58% of those surveyed believed that abortion should be legal under "few" or "no" circumstances.

Breaking the numbers down further, the poll reveals that 27% say that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, 13% say it should be legal in most circumstances, 38% say that it should be legal in few circumstances, and 20% say abortion should always be illegal.

The survey also points out that a majority opposes taxpayer funds being used to pay for abortions for those who can't afford it, with Americans split on whether women who receive government subsidies for health insurance should be able to get a plan that covers abortions.

How a person lines up politically also correlates with their beliefs, according to the survey. 

"Not surprisingly, abortion remains an issue on which there are wide partisan differences," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to say that abortion should always be illegal. But only a minority of the rank-and-file members of both parties take an extreme position on the issue, with just 31% of Republicans calling for a complete ban on abortion and just 32% of Democrats saying that abortion should be legal in all circumstances."

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, with 1,010 random adults nationwide questioned by telephone, with an overall sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The CNN poll correlates well with numbers released last spring by Gallup. 

According to the Gallup numbers, Millennial, aged 18-34, are the most likely group to believe abortion should be outlawed in all circumstances.  Overall, 57 % of these young Americans selected one of the pro-life options on the survey.  By partisan break-down, 59 % of independents oppose abortion in all or most cases, as do 43 % of Democrats.  Republican reported a pro-life position 78 % of the time. 

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 2-7, 2013, with a random sample of 1,535 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is four percentage points.