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abortion
(12/13/05) -

Most in U.S. Back Abortion Rights, Roe v. Wade

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many Americans are satisfied with their country’s current regulations regarding pregnancy termination, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 57 per cent of respondents say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 39 per cent think the procedure should be illegal in most or all occasions.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many Americans are satisfied with their country’s current regulations regarding pregnancy termination, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 57 per cent of respondents say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 39 per cent think the procedure should be illegal in most or all occasions.

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.” 63 per cent of respondents say they agree in general with the Roe v. Wade decision.

At least 15 American states have enacted legislation dubbed as “Woman’s Right to Know.” The rules indicate that detailed information about the procedure must be provided to a woman seeking an abortion, and a 24-hour period must be allowed for her to ponder her choices.

Earlier this month, a legal memorandum showed that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito apparently favours overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling. In 1992, justice Sandra Day O’Connor—the person Alito would replace in the court—voted against rescinding the 1973 decision. 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.

Polling Data

Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?

 

Dec. 2005

Jul. 2005

May. 2005

Legal all cases

19%

20%

18%

Legal most cases

38%

37%

37%

Illegal most cases

25%

24%

27%

Illegal all cases

14%

12%

14%

Not sure

4%

7%

5%

In general, do you agree or disagree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion?

 

Dec. 2005

Jul. 2005

May. 2005

Agree

63%

65%

63%

Disagree

32%

30%

33%

Not sure

5%

6%

5%

Source: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,230 registered American voters, conducted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, 2005. Margin of error is 3.2 per cent.