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Polls

On this page are polls from various sources that contain one or more questions about abortion.  Our goal is to keep you informed about the opinions of the American people on the abortion issue.

2014
March 6, 2014: CNN Poll.  A poll of "adults," not registered voters or even likely voters. It finds -- 20% say abortion should always be illegal; 38% say abortion should be legal in a few circumstances; 13% say abortion should be legal in most circumstances; 27% say abortion should be legal in all circumstances.  That's a 58% to 40% majority who say that abortion should be legal in no circumstances or only a few circumstances.  The poll also showed that by a 56%-39% margin, Americans oppose public funding of abortion.
January 2014: Marist Poll. Abortion in America.  Conducted by the Knights of Columbus.
 
2013
June-July 2013 polls on protecting babies at 20 weeks gestation
July 17-21, 2013: Wall Street Journal/NBC News.  44% say abortion should be banned at 20 weeks (38% strongly feel this way).
July 18-21, 2013: Washington Post/ABC News.  56% say abortion should be restricted up to 20 weeks as opposed to 24 weeks.
January 31, 2013: A poll of likely voters in New York found that proposals to liberalize the state’s abortion laws are “extremely unpopular.”   Almost 79% said there is already sufficient access to abortion in New York, 80% opposed allowing unlimited abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and 75% are against allowing non-doctors to perform abortions. The poll also found that 80% favor a 24-hour waiting period, 76% support parental notification, and 86% favor regulating abortion clinics the same as other medical facilities.
2012
December 2012: A Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, titled "Abortion in America: Trends over Time", finds that 10% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in all cases; 12% say it should only be legal to save the life of the mother; 34% say it should be legal only in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother; and 27% believe it should be legal – at most – in the first three months of pregnancy. Six percent say abortion should be legal in the first six months of pregnancy and 11% believe it should always be legal.
May 23, 2012: Gallup Poll says Americans self-identify as pro-life by a 50%-41% margin. 41% is the lowest "pro-choice" number since Gallup has been polling on this.
May 22, 2012: Gallup Poll finds that 51% of American adults believe that abortion is “morally wrong” and 38% believe that it is “morally acceptable.”
February 16, 2012: CNN: Americans Oppose Obama HHS Mandate 50-44 Percent (pdf)
January 21, 2012: Fox News Poll: Shows 50% of the public self-identifies as pro-life and 42% pro-choice. Fox notes that this is a near reversal of the figures from four years ago, when people identified themselves as pro-choice by a 51% to 40% margin.
January 5, 2012: Rasmussen Poll - 49% of Voters Are Pro-Choice, 43% Pro-Life (pdf)
January 1, 2012: Marist poll: Knights of Columbus showing that a majority of Americans want abortion restricted to, at most, cases involving rape, incest, or life of the mother.
2011
September 10, 2011: CNN Poll: Shows 62% of registered voters say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances or "legal in a few circumstances" while 37% say it should be legal in "most" or "any" circumstances. The poll covers a wide variety of subjects; the abortion questions are #21 and #22.
August 26, 2011: Rasmussen poll: 48% consider themselves "pro-choice" and 43% pro-life, but that also found that 55% say abortion is morally wrong most of the time.
July 25, 2011: Gallup Poll asks people if they favor laws restricting abortion, with generally pro-life results.
July 2011: Harris Poll shows increased pro-abortion support, but it changed its methodology this year to an online-only poll, thereby changing the poll dynamic and eliminating those who don't regularly use the internet. 
It should be noted that both polls above (July 2011 Gallup and Harris polls) misstate the content of pre-abortion ultrasound bills -- they ask people if they favor bills that "require" women to look at ultrasound images of their babies; the bills only require that women be offered the chance to look at the sonograms.
June 6, 2011: Gallup Poll showing that Republicans are solidly pro-life and Democrats less solidly pro-choice. Age wise, the most pro-life group of Republicans are those 18-34.
May 31, 2011: USA Today/Gallup poll listing a number of subjects and asking people if they find them "morally acceptable" or "morally wrong." In the 2011 poll, 51% found abortion morally wrong, with 39% saying it's morally acceptable. On assisted suicide, 48% said it was morally wrong and 45% morally acceptable. [PDF of Poll] [PDF of Summary]
May 23, 2011: Gallup Poll that shows 49% of the American public self-identifying as pro-choice and 45% pro-life. It also, however, shows that 61% think abortion should be legal in few or no circumstances. [PDF of Poll] [PDF of Summary]
March 23, 2011: Poll by The Hill newspaper showing 42% of likely voters support defunding Planned Parenthood and 46% oppose. The poll's margin of error is +/- 3%. (PDF)
March 10, 2011: Rasmussen poll on abortion showing 44% call themselves pro-life; 42% pro-choice. It also shows that 65% support a 72-hour waiting period for abortion.  The poll also shows that people would support a bill that requires women to look at ultrasounds of their babies prior to abortion by a 48% to 38% margin. (PDF)
March 3, 2011: A Pew Research Center poll found that 54% of respondents think abortion should be legal in all or most instances while 42% said it should be illegal in all or most instances. [PDF of portion dealing with abortion] [PDF of full text of poll]
2010
August 12, 2010: This poll from Rasmussen Reports finds 48% of voters believe that it's too easy to obtain an abortion in the U.S. While it finds that 49% self-identify as "pro-choice" and 43% as pro-life, it also says that by a two-to-one margin, pro-lifers are more likely than pro-choicers to consider abortion when deciding how to vote. (PDF)
July 10, 2010: AngusReid Public Opinion Poll: Abortion (PDF)
May 26, 2010: Gallup poll of what the public finds to be "morally acceptable" or "morally wrong." By a margin of 50% to 38%, the public finds abortion to be morally wrong. (PDF)
May 14, 2010: Gallup Poll showing 47% of Americans identifying themselves as pro-life and 45% as pro-choice. (PDF)

April 28, 2010: Gallup Poll: Education Trumps Gender in Predicting Support for Abortion (PDF)

March 12, 2010: A Gallup Poll that shows young people becoming more pro-life; in fact, they're more pro-life than any age group besides those 65 and older.
March 8, 2010: Gallup Poll that measures whether people want abortion illegal in all cases, legal in all cases, or legal only in certain cases. It also breaks down the numbers by Democrat and Republican.
February 10, 2010: Angus Reid Public Opinion poll on euthanasia (PDF)
February 10, 2010: Knights of Columbus/Marist poll on many subjects. Pages 16 and 17 of the poll report on the percentages of the public that believe abortion and euthanasia, among other things, are morally wrong. The poll focuses on "Catholic Millennials" (those aged 18-29), but covers all age groups and the general public as well. It finds that 66% of Catholic Millennials say abortion is morally wrong while 57% of the general public agrees. (PDF)
January 21, 2010: Marist Poll showing that 56% of Americans say abortion is morally wrong, 19% say it's morally acceptable, and 25% say it's not a moral issue. (PDF)
January 5-11, 2010: Quinnipiac poll showing 67% oppose abortion funding in the health care bill.  In the PDF, there's a link to the entire poll, but we isolated the abortion related questions. (PDF)
January 2010: poll by the Canadian firm Angus Reid.  It shows that Americans favor a ban on abortion coverage in federally subsidized health care insurance by 44% to 42%.  It has other findings, such as that 74% of Americans favor parental consent. (PDF)
2009
December 28, 2009: Rasmussen poll showing that by a 53%-40% margin, Americans favor a ban on abortion coverage in any health insurance plan that receives federal subsidies. (PDF)
December 22, 2009: This Quinnipiac poll shows that the public opposes using taxpayer funds for abortion in the health reform bill by a 72%-23% margin. Question 25 is the abortion-related question. (PDF)
December 2009: This Pew poll deals with Latinos' views on abortion. It shows that 56% say abortion should be illegal in all or most instances while only 37% say it should be legal. The numbers are broken down by age and by first, second, and third generation American Latinos. (PDF)
November 19, 2009: Pew Research poll says 55% say abortion should not be a covered benefit while only 28% say it should; and of those who oppose the health care bill, 56% cite abortion as "a major reason" and 21% cite it as "a minor reason."  So, while Pew says abortion "plays a small role in health reform opposition," 77% of those who oppose the bill cite abortion as a reason for their opposition. (PDF)
November 18, 2009: CNN/Opinion poll that shows by a 61%-37% margin, the public opposes using public money to pay for abortions. (PDF)
November 17, 2009: CBS News poll that shows that by a 56%-34% margin, the public believes government subsidies should not be used to pay for abortions. (PDF)
October 14, 2009: The Centers for Disease Control reports that the abortion rate in the U.S. declined by 35% from 1990 to 2005. It states that 1.2 million abortions were performed in 2005. (PDF)
October 6, 2009: This "Ohio Cultural Index Poll" commissioned by Ohio Right to Life measures Ohio opinion on cultural issues on a quarterly basis.  The latest poll finds that 52% of Ohioans oppose abortion and 72% oppose public funding of abortion. (PDF)
October 2, 2009: Fox News poll shows declining support for health care reform. 33% now support it; 53% oppose it. Two weeks ago, the figures were 38%-48%. (PDF)
October 1, 2009 Pew Poll: Polls conducted in 2009 have found fewer Americans expressing support for abortion than in previous years. (PDF)
October 1, 2009: Gallup Poll showing an increase in support for the proposition that government should promote "traditional values" (53%) as opposed to the government not favoring any values (42%). Last year, the Gallup Poll found the public evenly split 48% - 48%. The biggest shift toward traditional values has come among "moderates" and "independents (PDF)
September 22, 2009: Poll commissioned by the Bishops' Conference shows that 67% of the public oppose using tax money for abortions and 56% oppose forcing people to pay for abortion through health insurance premiums. 68% said they didn't want abortion covered in their own policies; 24% said they did. (PDF)
September 21, 2009: This is the first ever poll of Religious Activists conducted by the University of Akron and Public Religion Research. The poll contrasts religious conservatives with religious "progressives" and finds that 95% of conservatives think that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while 80% of progressives think it should be legal in all or most cases. The portions of the poll dealing with abortion appear on pages 15-17 (PDF)
September 9, 2009: Poll commissioned by the Susan B. Anthony List showing public support, especially among Republicans and Independents, for excluding abortion from health care reform. (PDF)
August 17: NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted Aug. 15-17 shows that by a margin of 50%-37%, the public believes that the health care bill will result in government funding of abortion. The poll has many questions about Obama and health care, but the one relevant question on abortion is Question 15. (PDF)
August 11, 2009: Harris Poll on abortion shows support for Roe v. Wade has dropped from 56%-40% in 2007 to 51%-44% now. The poll question, however, describes Roe as having legalized abortion in the first three months of pregnancy.
August 4, 2009: Gallup Poll on Abortion (PDF)
July 2009: Abortion in America - A Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll (PDF)
May 21, 2009: Americans United for Life Poll showing the public's opposition to the abortion positions of potential Obama Supreme Court nominees (PDF)
May 15, 2009: Gallup Poll: More Americans “Pro-Life” Than “Pro-Choice” for First Time (PDF).
May 18, 2009: Fox News poll showing virtually the same thing as the May Gallup poll. In the Fox Poll, Americans call themselves pro-life by a 49%-43% margin. (PDF)
April 30, 2009: Pew Poll: Public Takes Conservative Turn on Gun Control, Abortion (PDF)
April 7, 2009: Poll on Conscience Rights by the polling company (PDF)
March 30, 2009: Gallup Poll: Catholics Similar to Mainstream on Abortion, Stem Cells (PDF)
February 2, 2009: Gallup Poll: Opinion of Obama's Actions (PDF)
2008
December 2008: USCCB Poll: Americans support laws limiting or regulating abortion (PDF)
November 2008: Gallup Poll: Obama vs. McCain (PDF)
October 2008: Poll released by the Knights of Columbus on the views of Catholics and the entire nation.  The portion on abortion starts on page 18. (pdf format)
June 2008: Pew Religious Landscape Survey 2007 (PDF)
June 12-15, 2008: ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Legality of Abortion (PDF)
May 22, 2008: Abortion Issue Laying Low in 2008 Campaign (PDF)
May 19, 2008: Gallup poll on Cultural Tolerance (PDF)
May 8-11, 2008: Gallup's Pulse of Democracy: Abortion (PDF)
April 2008: Marist Poll: The Impact of the Pope's Visit to the United States (PDF)
April 2008: Roe vs. Wade Poll
January 14, 2008: Washington Post/ABC News Poll - on the legality of abortion
2007
December 11, 2007: ABC News/Washington Post Poll (PDF)
November 8, 2007: ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Social Issues (PDF)
October 2007: ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Social Issues (PDF)
October 26, 2007: Fox News Poll on Abortion (PDF)
October 23, 2007: Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll (PDF)
October 12, 2007: CBS News Poll on the Evangelical Vote (PDF)
September 25, 2007: Rasmussen Poll on the importance of selected issues to voters. (PDF)
August 2007: Harris Poll on Social Issues and Their Potential Impact on the Presidential Election (PDF)
August 2007: Quinnipiac Poll (PDF)
July 2007: ABC News/Washington Post Poll (PDF)
July 2007: ABC Poll about the Supreme Court's partial-birth abortion decision (PDF)
July 2007: CBS Poll on Abortion (PDF)
June 2007: MTV Poll (Question 46 deals with abortion) (PDF)
May 14, 2007: Public Opinion on Overturning Roe vs. Wade (PDF) - Commissioned by the Ethics and Public Policy Center
May 2007: Quinnipiac Poll (PDF)
May 2007: CNN Poll (PDF)
May 2007: Gallup Poll on Abortion and Birth Control (PDF)
2006
May 2006: Americans' Views on Morality “Not significantly different from recent years." - (Gallup Poll)
May 2006: Support for Roe vs. Wade Declines to Lowest Level Ever (Harris Poll)
April 2006: Poll Shows Americans do not understand Roe V. Wade - (The Polling Company, Inc/WomanTrend)
 
 
2004
April 2004: Zogby poll about abortion (PDF)
 
2003
January 2003: CBS Poll on Abortion Rights (PDF)
 
Priests for Life
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