A majority of Americans say they support keeping abortion legal in the United States, with most describing themselves as “pro-choice,” a new poll has found.
The findings may indicate that abortion will be a critical issue in this year’s midterm races.
Gallup has been measuring Americans’ attitudes on abortion rights for decades. In their latest poll released this week, 55 percent of respondents said that they were “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion — that is, supportive of the federal government recognizing and protecting the right to get an abortion. That’s the highest rate that Gallup has recorded since the mid-1990s, when around 56 percent of respondents described themselves as pro-choice.
Only 39 percent of respondents in the poll reported having anti-abortion viewpoints. That number has dropped significantly from last year’s Gallup poll, which found that 47 percent of Americans were against abortion.
A plurality of participants in the latest poll (35 percent) said that abortion should be legal under any circumstances, while another 18 percent said that it should be legal under most circumstances. Thirty-two percent said that abortion should only be legal in a few cases, while only 13 percent said they wanted abortion to be illegal in all cases.
That number is down from where it was a year ago, when 19 percent of respondents said that abortion should never be allowed.
“The prospect of the Supreme Court overturning the case that established women’s right to seek an abortion has clearly jolted a segment of Americans into identifying with the pro-choice side of the issue and expressing more unequivocal support for abortion being legal,” Gallup’s report on its findings said.
These latest numbers may also indicate that, as abortion restrictions are being implemented in several states across the country (and as the Supreme Court readies itself to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent on the matter), Americans remain supportive of keeping the right to abortion intact.
A separate poll from Marquette University Law School published last week found that voters believe abortion is “one of the most important issues” right now, indicating that it could play a huge role in this year’s midterm races. Forty-eight percent of Democratic voters said that abortion was one of the most important issues, while only 31 percent of Republican-leaning voters agreed.