“Pro-Choice” Americans at a record low

Posted on 27 May 2012


By Jill on 5.25.2012

According to a recent Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who identify as “pro-choice” is at an all-time low of 41%. By contrast, 50% of Americans ID as pro-life.

Of course, the pro-life/pro-choice monikers don’t really say much about one’s actual views on the legality or morality of abortion. Lots of folks who say they are “pro-life” don’t actually want to make abortion illegal — only 20% of respondents believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, while 25% believe it should be legal in any circumstances, and 52% believe it should be legal under certain circumstances. In other words, a heavy majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal sometimes.

And Gallup didn’t just look at abortion — they looked at a range of sex-related “moral” issues. And what Americans find immoral vs. moral is… interesting. We pretty much all agree that birth control is moral; more than 50% of respondents also believe that gay and lesbian relationships are moral, so that’s a plus. However, more Americans apparently believe that the death penalty is moral than believe premarital sex is moral. And only 59% of Americans believe sex between unmarried people is moral, even while upwards of 90% of us have premarital sex. More good news, though, is that while 58% of Americans believe the death penalty is moral, that’s down substantially from last year, when 65% of Americans said the death penalty was moral. Hopefully we’re catching up to the rest of the world on that one.