Yesterday, North Carolina narrowly avoided becoming one of the states passing a wave of restrictive new laws related to abortion that seem likely to lead to a Supreme Court showdown on the issue.
Last week, before Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto was sustained, Gallup released its annual poll on the moral acceptability of a number of American social issues.
On abortion, 50 percent of those surveyed said they find it morally unacceptable while 42 percent said they found it morally acceptable.
Those numbers have shifted only slightly over the last year, with a 2018 Gallup poll finding 48 percent of respondents answering that abortion is morally unacceptable and 43 percent saying it is morally acceptable.
But moral acceptability does not seem to completely drive opinions as to whether abortion should be legal in the U.S. — or whether the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade.
Last year’s gallup poll also found that about 48 percent of Americans identify as “pro-choice” and the same percentage identify as “pro-life.”
The question of when and under what circumstances abortion should be legal also leads to complicating diversions of opinion.
According to Gallup:
The two sides also diverge when it comes to the legality of first-trimester abortions. Nine in 10 pro-choice Americans say abortion should generally be legal in the first three months of pregnancy, while six in 10 pro-life Americans believe it should be illegal.
At the same time, there are two important areas of consensus that have typically been respected in U.S. abortion laws. One involves protecting abortion rights when pregnancy endangers a woman’s life. The other is keeping abortion legal when pregnancy is caused by rape or incest.
According to Gallup’s 2018 abortion survey, not only do most Americans as a whole favor these protections, but so do majorities of pro-life Americans — 71% for the endangered woman’s life exception and 57% for cases of rape or incest. Support for these allowances is nearly universal among pro-choice Americans.
Gallup also offered a historical perspective on shifting views: Read more