Three months ago, Gallup created a stir when it found that, for the first time, more Americans described themselves as pro-life than pro-choice (51-42, a reversal from 50-44 the other way). Now, in its latest quarterly taking of the temperature, the numbers have evened out, at 47 percent pro-life and 46 percent choice. Now, with abortion front and center in the health reform debate, not so much stir.
Howbeit, as I pointed out in May, the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” numbers are less significant than the basic views of Americans on abortion rights. And the latter show 78 percent believing that abortion should be legal under some or all circumstances (up two percent since May), with roughly the same number believing it should be legal under all circumstances and no circumstances. What’s worth bearing in mind in all this is that roughly 60 percent of Americans who call themselves pro-life believe that abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances. It would actually be interesting to know with greater precision what “pro-life” means to Americans today.
Here are the latest Gallup charts.