According to One Poll, Majority Is 'Pro-Life'

The Christian Century, June 16, 2009 | Go to article overview

According to One Poll, Majority Is 'Pro-Life'


CONSERVATIVE GROUPS are hailing--and some pro-choice commentators are questioning--a new Gallup poll that finds that a majority of Americans now describe themselves as pro-life.

The figures, released May 15 from a survey conducted May 7-10, show a self-described pro-life majority for the first time since Gallup started asking the question in 1995 as part of its annual Values and Beliefs Survey. Of the 1,015 adults surveyed, 51 percent described themselves as pro-life while 42 percent said they were pro-choice.

Last year, 50 percent of respondents described themselves as pro-choice, while only 44 percent said they were pro-life.

Groups opposed to abortion rights seized in particular on Gallup's analysis that President Obama's strong support for abortion rights--including rollbacks of some of the anti-abortion-rights policies of his predecessor--may have spurred a backlash.

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said: "This dramatic shift of more people becoming pro-life did not happen in a vacuum. In the last two decades, ultrasound [images] made people aware that abortion kills a baby, and women have been vocal about regretting their abortion.

"But the most significant development in the last year is that America has the most proabortion president in our history," she said. "Ironically, Obama's radical abortion policies and nominees may have helped make America more pro-life."

However, when it came to the separate question of whether abortion should be legal, the survey found that a majority of Americans--53 percent--believe that abortion should be legal "under certain circumstances. …

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