Poll: Majority of Americans Still Pro-Life

A national poll has found that a majority of Americans remain pro-life and only overwhelmingly favor abortions in the most extreme circumstances, such as when the mother's life is in danger. 

CNN/ORC conducted the national poll on August 22-23, when abortion issues dominated news coverage because of Rep. Todd Akin’s rape remarks. 

When asked, “Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal under only certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?,” 62% of respondents said they want abortions illegal in all cases or legal only in certain instances while 35% said they want abortions legal under any circumstances. 

When the question was asked a different way -- “Do you think abortion should be legal in most circumstances or only a few circumstances?” -- 52% responded by saying they felt abortion should be “illegal in all circumstances” or illegal in most circumstances. 

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said they wanted abortion to be legal “under any circumstances” and 9% said they wanted abortion to be legal in “most circumstances.”

Americans favored abortions in extreme circumstances, such as when the life of the mother is endangered (88-9), rape or incest caused the pregnancy (83-12), and the health of the mother is in danger (83-14).

The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.5 points. 


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