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abortion-2
(05/06/06) -

Americans Divided on Roe v. Wade Decision

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Adults in the United States are split over a Supreme Court ruling that established federal guidelines for pregnancy termination, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. 49 per cent of respondents favour the decision that allows a woman to have an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, while 47 per cent are opposed.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Adults in the United States are split over a Supreme Court ruling that established federal guidelines for pregnancy termination, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. 49 per cent of respondents favour the decision that allows a woman to have an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, while 47 per cent are opposed.

The 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling gave American women the right to an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, and regulated the procedure during the second trimester “in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.” In the third trimester, a state can choose to proscribe abortion, except when necessary “for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

Earlier this month, researchers at the Guttmacher Institute released the findings of a study on birth control. Using nationwide data from the National Center for Health Statistics and other sources, the researchers found a 30 per cent increase in unplanned pregnancies for women below who live below the poverty line from 1994 to 2001.

As far as their particular views on abortion regulations, 40 per cent of respondents believe it should be more difficult for a women to get an abortion, 15 per cent think it should be easier, and 40 per cent believe the existing guidelines are sufficient.

Polling Data

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that states laws which made it illegal for a woman to have an abortion up to three months of pregnancy were unconstitutional, and that the decision on whether a woman should have an abortion up to three months of pregnancy should be left to the woman and her doctor to decide. In general, do you favour or oppose this part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision making abortions up to three months of pregnancy legal?

2006

2005

Favour

49%

52%

Oppose

47%

47%

Not Sure / Refused

4%

1%

Do you favour laws that would make it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, favour laws that would make it easier to get an abortion or should no change be made to existing abortion laws?

2006

2005

Making it more difficult

40%

42%

Make it easier

15%

13%

No change

40%

42%

Not sure

6%

1%

Source: Harris Interactive
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,016 American adults, conducted from Apr. 4 to Apr. 10, 2006. Margin of error is 2 per cent.