No. of Pro-Choice Americans Hits Record Low
Down to 41%, according to new Gallup poll
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2012 10:36 AM CDT
In this Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 file picture, anti-abortion and pro-choice activists stand next to each other in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – The number of Americans who identify themselves as pro-choice fell precipitously this year, dropping to an all-time Gallup low of 41%, according to a new poll. On the flip side, 50% said they were pro-life. When Gallup first started asking the question back in 1995, the numbers were dramatically different, with 56% identifying as pro-choice to only 33% as pro-life. But in the years since the pro-choice lead narrowed and eventually disappeared.

But underlying poll numbers indicate that the shift isn't as dramatic as it looks. The number of people believing abortion should be legal hasn't changed significantly in the last decade—only 20% believe it should be completely banned, while 25% believe it should be completely legal, and 52% say it should be legal in some circumstances. Nor has the public's opinion on the morality of abortion changed—a plurality continue to think it's wrong. "While Americans' labeling of their position has changed, their fundamental views on the issue have not," Gallup concludes.