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abortion
(11/23/07) -

Americans Prefer Middle Ground on Abortion

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Few people in the United States are completely in favour of abortion or completely against it, according to a poll by Knowledge Networks released by the Associated Press and Yahoo. 20 per cent of respondents think the procedure should be legal in all cases, while 12 per cent think it should be illegal in all cases.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Few people in the United States are completely in favour of abortion or completely against it, according to a poll by Knowledge Networks released by the Associated Press and Yahoo. 20 per cent of respondents think the procedure should be legal in all cases, while 12 per cent think it should be illegal in all cases.

The bulk of the population favours more restrained views, with 35 per cent of respondents saying pregnancy termination should be legal in most cases, and 33 per cent considering it should be unlawful most of the time.

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."

On Nov. 18, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee—who is seeking the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2008—said states should not be allowed to decide whether to allow abortions, claiming the right to life is a moral issue not subject to different interpretations, and adding, "If morality is the point here, and if it’s right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can’t have 50 different versions of what’s right and what’s wrong."

Polling Data

Which comes closest to your opinion on abortion? Abortion should be…

Legal in all cases

20%

Legal in most cases

35%

Illegal in most cases

33%

Illegal in all cases

12%

Source: Knowledge Networks / Associated Press / Yahoo
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,230 American adults, conducted from Nov. 2 to Nov. 12, 2007. Margin of error is 2.1 per cent.