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abortion-2
(11/02/07) -

Americans Support Abortion Only in Some Cases

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in the United States agree that pregnancy termination should be legal under certain circumstances but not always, according to a poll by Opinion Dynamics released by Fox News. At least 70 per cent of respondents think abortion should be allowed if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in the United States agree that pregnancy termination should be legal under certain circumstances but not always, according to a poll by Opinion Dynamics released by Fox News. At least 70 per cent of respondents think abortion should be allowed if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk.

In addition, more than half of respondents think abortion should be legal if the baby has a fatal birth defect or if the pregnancy puts the mother’s mental health at risk. Only 39 per cent of respondents support the availability of abortion when it is the outcome of an unwanted pregnancy.

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."

In April, a Supreme Court ruling effectively banned partial birth abortion—a procedure performed in the late-term of pregnancy when the fetus can survive outside the womb—without making an exception for the health of the mother.

On Oct. 30, the White House announced it will grant the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Republican Illinois congressman Henry Hyde for his fight against abortion. Hyde—who will receive the nation’s most important civil award on Nov. 5—was first elected in 1975. His "Hyde Amendment", which effectively ceased all federal funding for virtually every abortion, made him an icon among the county’s pro-life movement.

The White House issued an official statement, saying Hyde has "served America with distinction," and adding, "During his career in the House of Representatives, he was a powerful defender of life and a leading advocate for a strong national defence."

Polling Data

Please tell me if you think abortion should be legal or illegal in each of the following situations.

 

Legal

Illegal

Depends

Not sure

If the pregnancy puts the mother’s life at risk

73%

15%

8%

3%

If the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest

70%

21%

6%

2%

If the pregnancy puts the mother’s mental health at risk

56%

28%

9%

6%

If the baby has a fatal birth defect

53%

30%

11%

5%

If the pregnancy is unwanted

39%

50%

6%

4%

Source: Opinion Dynamics / Fox News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 900 registered American voters, conducted on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.