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abortion-2
(03/26/06) -

Most Americans Back Existing Abortion Rules

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in the United States believe their country’s pregnancy termination guidelines should not be changed, according to a poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. 56 per cent of respondents oppose making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in the United States believe their country’s pregnancy termination guidelines should not be changed, according to a poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. 56 per cent of respondents oppose making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion.

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.”

On Feb. 22, the South Dakota Legislature passed a bill that makes performing an abortion a crime unless the procedure is deemed necessary to save a woman’s life, and makes no exception for cases of incest or rape. On Mar. 6, South Dakota governor Mike Rounds signed the bill into law. The legislation—which is scheduled to take effect on Jul. 1—is expected to be blocked by the courts, since it openly defies the Roe v. Wade ruling.

On Mar. 24, opponents of the South Dakota law announced they intend to challenge the abortion ban by forcing a statewide vote. The group must gather the signatures of 16,728 registered voters by Jun. 19 to place a repeal initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot. 58 per cent of respondents oppose enacting a law like this one at the national level.

Polling Data

Do you strongly favour, favour, oppose, or strongly oppose making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion?

Mar. 2006

Dec. 2004

Strongly favour

15%

19%

Somewhat favour

22%

17%

Somewhat oppose

24%

29%

Strongly oppose

32%

26%

Not sure

7%

9%

Recently, South Dakota passed a law that bans abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother. Would you favour or oppose a law like this at the national level?

Favour

34%

Oppose

58%

Don’t know / Refused

8%

Source: Princeton Survey Research Associates / Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Methodology: Telephone interviews to 1,405 American adults, conducted from Mar. 8 to Mar. 12, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.