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abortion
(01/30/06) -

Opinions on Abortion Remain Stable in U.S.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Most adults in the United States think some form of pregnancy termination should be allowed in their country, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 38 per cent of respondents believe abortion should be generally available to those who want it, 39 per cent would impose stricter limits on the procedure, and 21 per cent believe abortion should not be permi

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Most adults in the United States think some form of pregnancy termination should be allowed in their country, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 38 per cent of respondents believe abortion should be generally available to those who want it, 39 per cent would impose stricter limits on the procedure, and 21 per cent believe abortion should not be permitted.

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.”

Last month, a legal memorandum showed that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito apparently favours overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling. In 1992, Sandra Day O’Connor—the justice Alito would replace—voted against rescinding the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. Alito has said the document reflects his role as a lawyer, and not the way he would vote on specific issues if and when he joins the Supreme Court.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, explained her views on the current state of affairs regarding abortion, saying, “I think Roe in the short term will be dismantled. We have an anti-choice president, an anti-choice Congress and (…) we are seeing the potential for a very right-leaning, anti-choice Supreme Court.”

Polling Data

Which of these comes closest to your view? Abortion should be generally available to those who want it; Abortion should be available but under stricter limits than it is now; or Abortion should not be permitted?

 

Jan. 2006

Dec. 2005

Apr. 2005

Generally available

38%

38%

36%

Stricter limits

39%

39%

38%

Not be permitted

21%

20%

24%

Not sure

3%

3%

2%

Source: The New York Times / CBS News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,229 American adults, conducted from Jan. 20 to Jan. 25, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.