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Pro-life or Pro-Choice: Fewer People are Neutral on Abortion

Pro-life or Pro-Choice: Fewer People are Neutral on Abortion

Research shows that more people are holding strong opinions on the issue of abortion, whether they are pro-life or pro-choice.

The Washington Post reports that the General Social Survey, a survey which is conducted every year or two, reveals that there are fewer people who are neutral or moderate on the issue of abortion.

The survey asks “whether or not it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion” in various circumstances, including in the case of rape, if the baby has a serious defect, or if the woman simply wants an abortion “for any reason.”

Survey results found that fewer people support abortion in the most extreme cases, such as a baby with a serious defect or a pregnancy that resulted from incest or rape. Today, about 75 percent of people support abortion if the baby has a serious defect, while 85 percent supported abortion in this case in the 1970’s. 

In addition, up to the 1990’s, more than 90 percent of Americans supported abortion if a woman’s health was seriously endangered. New results found that now about 87 percent support abortion in cases in which the health of the woman could be in danger.

Although fewer people are supporting abortion even in extreme circumstances, more people are becoming supportive of abortion in any circumstance, regardless of why a woman may choose to undergo the procedure.

About 35 percent of people supported abortion for any reason in the 1970’s, while about 45 percent support it today.

The Washington Post notes that the reason for this polarization in views on abortion is not easily pinpointed; however, it may be influenced by the shift in views of the major political parties.

More Democrats are advocating for unrestricted access to abortion, while more Republicans are advocating for restrictions against abortion in almost any case accept if the life of the woman is endangered. 

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Publication date: February 29, 2016