More Americans Now Prefer ‘Pro-choice’ Label

An anti-abortion protester holds a stop sign and the Ten Commandments on the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 14, 2001 in Washington, D.C.Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler via Shutterstock
An anti-abortion protester holds a stop sign and the Ten Commandments on the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 14, 2001 in Washington, D.C.Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler via Shutterstock

Despite Americans’ shifting opinions on a range of moral and ethical issues, abortion foes have been encouraged by numbers showing that opposition to abortion rights appeared to have resisted serious slippage, and was even gaining traction.

But a Gallup poll released Friday (May 29) shows that may be changing: 50 percent of all Americans now identify as “pro-choice,” the first statistically significant lead over the “pro-life” label, which came in at 44 percent, since 2008.

The data suggest this could signal an end to the seesaw battle that has characterized opinions on abortion over the past few years.

“The pro-choice view is not as prevalent among Americans as it was in the mid-1990s, but the momentum for the pro-life position that began when Barack Obama took office has yielded to a pro-choice rebound,” Gallup’s Lydia Saad wrote in an analysis of the figures, which are from a survey conducted in early May.

“That rebound has essentially restored views to where they were in 2008; today’s views are also similar to those found in 2001,” she said.

A Vox poll taken earlier this year also found that more Americans identified as “pro-choice” (32 percent) rather than “pro-life” (26 percent).

But it also found that 39 percent — a plurality — reject the labels, with 21 percent identifying as neither and 18 percent identifying as both.

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SOURCE: Religion News Service
David Gibson

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