41% of Americans who now identify themselves as “pro-choice” is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009. Fifty percent now call themselves “pro-life,” one point shy of the record high, also from May 2009.
Notably, fewer people think abortion is morally acceptable than call themselves pro-choice. Furthermore, on the question of whether abortion should be legal, 20% say never, 25% say always, and 52% say only in some circumstances. What this means is that the abortion industry and its feminist mouthpieces are out-of-touch with the American public when insisting that abortion be unrestricted and (increasingly) paid for by taxpayers. While Americans seem unready for a Human Life Amendment or other ban on abortion, there seems broad support for state-level restrictions that lessen the frequency of abortion. I often note that former President Bill Clinton didn’t believe it but he captured the general mood about abortion when he said it should be safe, legal, and rare. Americans seem to want abortion to be rare, not something that happens 1.2 million times a year. There is a lot of policy room to lessen abortion by restricting it, while maintaining the goal of eventual prohibition.
There is, of course, a more political dimension to this poll. Gallup says that independents are becoming more pro-life, with 47% identifying as pro-life and 41% identifying as pro-choice:
The percentage of political independents identifying as pro-choice is 10 points lower today than in May 2011, while the percentage pro-life is up by six points. As a result, pro-lifers now outnumber pro-choicers among this important swing political group for only the second time since 2001, with the first occurring in 2009.
More broadly, since 2009, independents have been fairly closely divided between the two abortion positions, whereas for most of the 2001-2008 period, significantly more independents were pro-choice than pro-life.
Political pundits always focus on the divide within the Republican Party on the abortion issue. The reality is that the the Democrats have a larger contingent of pro-lifers than Republicans do pro-choicers. The Republican has a 72% pro-life vs. 22% pro-choice divide, while Democrats are split 58% pro-choice vs. 34% pro-life. This is one of the great ignored stories of U.S. politics.