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Americans Show Broad Support For Abortion Rights

Americans Show Broad Support For Abortion Rights

It’s safe to say that the Republican assault on reproductive rights won’t end anytime soon, especially after the latest Gallup poll which claims that more Americans identify as “pro life” than ever.

But is that what the poll really says? Not even Life News is willing to go quite that far, carefully noting that the results reflect those who self-identify as “pro-life” despite what the “pro-life” platform embraces.

That’s because today’s “pro-life” movement is one that sees itself as opposing all forms of legalized abortion, including contraception. But according to the poll results that’s not how most Americans, including those who identify as “pro-life” see the issue.

Since 2001, at least half of Americans have consistently chosen the middle position, saying abortion should be legal under certain circumstances, and the 52% saying this today is similar to the 50% in May 2011. The 25% currently wanting abortion to be legal in all cases and the 20% in favor of making it illegal in all cases are also similar to last year’s findings.

That means that over two-thirds of Americans actually support abortion being legal in all or “certain” circumstances while only 20 percent of Americans are truly “pro-life” in a way that supports the “pro-life” political agenda.

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued this statement in response:

Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman.

What this poll makes clear is that labels like ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ simply don’t reflect the complexity of how most people actually think and feel about abortion in this country. A majority of Americans still believe abortion should remain a safe and legal medical procedure for a woman to consider if and when she needs it, and these fundamental views have held steady for more than a decade. Instead of putting people in one category or another, we should respect the real-life decisions women and their families face every day.

Gallup also included the issue of birth control in its poll for the first time this year.  As women’s health opponents continue their unprecedented assault on access to basic health care, this poll reiterates birth control is not a moral issue – it is simply basic health care. The fact is that birth control use is nearly universal in the U.S. — 99 percent of sexually active women use it at some point in their lives.  The Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage benefit means that millions more women will have access to affordable birth control, and this important step forward needs to be maintained.

Best news of all from Gallup: 25% of Americans think abortion should be legal in every circumstance while only 20% think it should be illegal in all circumstances.

Related Stories:

Pennsylvania Joins Rush To Defund Planned Parenthood

Wisconsin Women Lose Another Abortion Option

Missouri GOP Close Session With More Anti-Woman Legislation

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Photo from WeNews via flickr.

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37 comments

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3:22AM PDT on May 27, 2012

Aren't we all pro-life? We all want to live!

I guess 'pro-life' sounds so much better than anti-abortion, but it's playing with words.

8:36AM PDT on May 26, 2012

thanks for sharing...

4:13PM PDT on May 25, 2012

I believe the life that is already here should receive preference over "the potential" for life. I am pro-choice and I believe in a woman's right to use contraception, the morning after pill, the so-called "abortion pill", and abortion. I also believe in early, and age appropriate sex education and access to birth control and abortion. Too many daughters live in families that will Not understand, approve, or be supportive. Instead they will pressure or even force their own daughters to do what the parent thinks is best. I believe life begins with birth, or when the fetus is viable out of the womb. Also, I do not believe in these various GOP attempts at restricting and delaying abortions. Women should Not be made to wait a specified time from consult to procedure, see sonogram results, listen to a heartbeat, viewing a video of a real procedure, or even accepting Counceling services if they don't want it. This is never an easy decision to make, and once made, we women DO NOT need the Gov't second guessing us or putting mandatory restrictions on our decision to receive A LEGAL PROCEDURE!!! There are so few Clinics or Doctors that will even do this procedure any longer for fear of being literally Murdered by some religious zealot! So, not only must we travel to another state or larger city, but they've now added these ridiculous requirements we must fulfill - mostly in the south, I might add - before we're eligible to seek out our legal procedure. What other legal procedures do

5:18AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Most of the "pro-life" people are actually pro-fetus. They are the ones who consistently vote against social services for born children and harass women seeking life-prolonging care at Planned Parenthood and women's clinics across the US. Harassing a woman seeking a cancer screening, prenatal care or HIV testing is not pro-life. Attempting to intimidate a woman seeking contraceptives at such a clinic is also not pro-life. If they were truly pro-life, they would want women to receive proper health care and indigent, born children to eat every day.

8:15PM PDT on May 24, 2012

I think it becomes a person at birth. And not before. A fertilized egg is definitely not a person. If left alone, it will be a person. But at the time it is fertilized, it is not--it is just a few cells together. The world is o verpopulated; thus, I am pro-choice.

8:15PM PDT on May 24, 2012

I think it becomes a person at birth. And not before. A fertilized egg is definitely not a person. If left alone, it will be a person. But at the time it is fertilized, it is not--it is just a few cells together. The world is o verpopulated; thus, I am pro-choice.

7:29PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:51PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Conservatives want to dictate what you can do with your body.

6:20PM PDT on May 24, 2012

It should be up to the WOMAN no one should have power over someones body but there own!

4:47PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Suck it up Sandy, abortion's legal and what you think matters for exactly zip.

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