Study Shows Support for Abortion Rights Falling

A new study shows fewer Americans support abortion rights.

Only 47 percent of Americans now feel abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a drop from 54 percent a year ago, according to the poll. Meanwhile, 45 percent say it should be illegal in all or most cases. That's up from 41 percent a year ago.

Demographically: [More...]

"There was a drop seen in many, many demographics: men and women, people with a college degree and those with less education, people with various religious backgrounds," he said.

The only groups whose opinions on abortion did not change were African-Americans -- who tend to oppose it -- and young people and those not affiliated with any particular religion, who tend to say it should be legal, he said.

The full report is here (pdf.) It was conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press.

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    If only we had a powerful orator as President... (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by lambert on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:00:34 PM EST
    Aw, forget it.

    Obama has powerfully orated (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:14:49 PM EST
    that a woman considering an abortion should consult with her husband and her minister.  And America backed him.  

    Other signs of the times also suggest to me that this is not a "blip."  It's very sad, but I'm just too saddened and wearied by it all to go march in the streets and defend clinics and the like again.  A younger generation may have to see what we saw.


    He also said he wouldn't want his (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:41:03 PM EST
    daughters punished with a baby if they made a mistake, though. So, he's got all his bases covered.

    If there's any accuracy in the poll, and they didn't stand outside churches on Sunday asking only men what they thought, I'm wondering if the opinion is based on the potential of abortion being covered under a public insurance plan.


    Good question (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:21:40 PM EST
    It'll be a bad blip until really bad (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:20:44 PM EST
    chit starts happening to people's sisters and daughters and wives...and unwanted children are treated even worse in a nation of people who won't even grant any child its promise that they are worth health care and a life of some small stability before the rich get richer.  My husband always thinks that women should try really really hard to do "the right thing".  One night we watched 'Reservation Road', when it was done he said, "I hate that movie."  I asked him what he hated the most, the honesty about the human condition or the honesty about the human condition?

    Oops, wrong movie (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:27:01 PM EST
    'Revolutionary Road'....but 'Reservation Road' was about the human condition too.  No home abortions though and dead mothers and wives.

    Oops, wrong movie (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:27:01 PM EST
    'Revolutionary Road'....but 'Reservation Road' was about the human condition too.  No home abortions though and dead mothers and wives.

    The Great Ignorance Is Upon Us (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by pluege on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:57:10 PM EST
    creeping in like a fog smothering and disappearing everything you know to be true, right before your eyes.

    Doesn''t suprise me.... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:22:36 AM EST
    I see support for almost all individual rights fading over time...there is far too little respect given by the law to the sovereignty of our bodies.

    I dunno (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:42:36 AM EST
    the trend is really in the other direction.  I mean, not only was abortion flatly legal in the past, so was birth control in some places, you couldn't marry someone of a different race, so on and so forth.  We don't have a full-blown "right to die" yet but even living wills and such are a comparatively modern innovation.  The trend is even in favor of assisted suicide if you consider that an issue of personal autonomy (which I do).

    I think we are losing one type of privacy over time due to increases in surveillance, but we are actually gaining rights to make personal and family decisions without government interference, rather than losing them.  Of course the process is still ongoing.


    See your point... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:59:02 AM EST
    sovereign bodily rights were on a steady rise in the 20th century, till the last 20 years or so...now you got cops with the power to stick ya with needles on the side of the road in 2 two states, mandated controversial vaccination of healthcare workers in NY, ever present tyrannical drug laws...I think we're on a downswing when it comes to bodily sovereignty.

    These polls have blips periodically (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:21:42 PM EST
    but the overwhelming majority of polling shows Americans to be pro-choice by a substantial margin.

    I suspect... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 08:40:15 AM EST
    ... that these polls tend to drift in the direction of the party that's out of power, because that's who is more worried about the issue.

    I hope you are right (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:23:25 PM EST
    Fine (none / 0) (#14)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 09:45:05 AM EST
    I suspect these are the same folks who voted for Obama despite his wishy-washiness on abortion by pretending it didn't matter, it wasn't important; the all-important thing was electing Obama (or rather, defeating Hillary, whose pro-choice credentials are unquestioned).

    I say, fine. Let them have a go at it. I'm safely out of baby-making range now so if they want to do what we did back in the day, and write letters and march and protest and scream (gad, I was so busy back then -- half my life seemed spent on pro-choice stuff), then fine, they are welcome to do it. I'm tired.

    I find that sentiment (none / 0) (#16)
    by CST on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:11:05 AM EST
    pretty disgusting.  That's like wishing all the southern republicans would die in Iraq.  Not to mention, it is only a representation of what you think this poll means, which has no correlation to any facts at all.  I would note in the cross tabs one group that strongly supports abortion rights is the young, which is who I assume you are talking about here, since you refer to those not "out of baby-making range".

    Finally, this is a poll on public opinion, which has nothing to do with any actual policy being enacted to limit access to abortion (therefore nothing to do with any particular politicians at all).  Not everything is about the Dem primary.


    "wishing all the southern republicans (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:28:08 PM EST
    would die in Iraq"? If that's a poll question, put me down as a solid YES!