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abortion
(01/16/06) -

Mixed Views on Abortion Availability in U.S.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Americans hold differing opinions on the appropriate conditions for pregnancy termination, according to a poll by CBS News. 27 per cent of respondents think abortion should be permitted in all cases, while 15 per cent would subject the procedure to greater restrictions than the current ones.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Americans hold differing opinions on the appropriate conditions for pregnancy termination, according to a poll by CBS News. 27 per cent of respondents think abortion should be permitted in all cases, while 15 per cent would subject the procedure to greater restrictions than the current ones.

Conversely, 33 per cent of respondents would only allow abortion in extreme circumstances, 17 per cent would only permit it to save a woman’s life, and five per cent believe the practice should be abolished.

A Supreme Court ruling in 1973 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. 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.

Last week, during his confirmation hearings in Washington, Alito opted not to discuss abortion, saying, “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to speak about issues that could realistically come up.”

Polling Data

What is your personal feeling about abortion?

 

Jan. 2006

Jul. 2005

It should be permitted in all cases

27%

28%

It should be permitted, but subject
to greater restrictions than it is now

15%

15%

It should be permitted only in cases such
as rape, incest and to save the woman’s life

33%

33%

Permitted to save the woman’s life

17%

15%

It should not be permitted at all

5%

5%

Don’t know / No answer

3%

4%

Source: CBS News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,151 American adults, conducted from Jan. 4 to Jan. 8, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.