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What We Think About Abortion

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The editors at Healthcare Administration Degree Guide decided to research the topic of:

What We Think About Abortion

While a slim majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in most cases, even a brief close-up examination of public opinion reveals a complicated and nuanced picture that exposes both political differences and semantic ones.

For many people, it depends on exactly what you ask...

Do you think abortion should be legal in all or most cases?

- Democrats - 65%
- Republicans - 39%
- Independents - 54%
- Total - 53%

Do you consider yourself pro-life or pro-choice?

- Pro-life - 50%
- Pro-choice - 41%
- Unsure/no answer - 9%

Why the difference? Could be that semantic differences between the two questions allow people to draw a distinction between the morality of choosing to have an abortion vs. whether they believe the government should restrict access.

Gender differences

While men and women don't vary widely on their overall opinions about abortion, there are significant differences.

Abortion should be: Women - Men

- illegal in all cases: 16 - 16
- illegal in most cases: 24 - 26
- legal in most cases: 33 - 34
- legal in all cases: 22 - 17
- don't know: 5 - 6

That means 40% of women believe abortion should be illegal compared to 43% of men, while 55% of women and 51% of men believe it should be legal.

How we've changed over the years

According to Gallup polling that dates back to 1995, fewer Americans than ever identify themselves as pro-choice.

Recent years have seen wide but brief fluctuations in how people view the legal issue of abortion.


- Pew Research Center
- Gallup
- Newsweek