Most Americans support restrictions on abortion

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Americans who think abortion is morally wrong outweigh those who see it as morally acceptable, said a new Gallup poll, released Monday.

This result is consistent with Gallup’s findings since it first started surveying Americans about the issue in 2001.

In this year’s poll, 48 percent of respondents believe abortion to be wrong, and 43 percent say it is acceptable.

Abortion, said the poll report, is one of a small handful of issues “about which Americans' views have not become more liberal over the past two decades.”

Asked whether they identify as “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” respondents were evenly split, with 48 percent siding with each label. Over the last three years, “pro-choice” respondents outnumbered “pro-life” respondents by an average of about three percentage points.

Most Americans favor at least some restrictions on abortion, the poll found. Fifty percent said abortion should be legal “only under certain circumstances,” while 29 percent said it should be legal in all circumstances, and 18 percent said it should be illegal in all cases.

“In a follow-up question asked of those [50 percent] in the middle ‘legal under certain circumstances’ group, most of these respondents say it should be legal ‘only in a few’ rather than in ‘most’ circumstances.”

The poll on abortion was part of the Gallup’s Values and Beliefs survey, which is conducted yearly. The poll was based on telephone interviews of 1,024 adults ages 18 and up, conducted in early May. The margin of sampling error is 4 percentage points.

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