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(05/09/07) -

Abortion is Key 2008 Issue for 22% of Americans

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in the United States are willing to disagree with their favourite presidential contender on the issue of abortion, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 69 per cent of respondents say they could still vote for a candidate if they agreed with him or her on other issues besides abortion.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in the United States are willing to disagree with their favourite presidential contender on the issue of abortion, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 69 per cent of respondents say they could still vote for a candidate if they agreed with him or her on other issues besides abortion.

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.” 54 per cent of respondents think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39 per cent believe the procedure should be banned in all or most occasions.

Last month, 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.

Illinois senator Barack Obama, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2008, said after the court’s decision: “I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women.”

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is seeking the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2008, declared: “The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial birth abortion. I agree with it.”

The next presidential election in the U.S. is scheduled for November 2008.

Polling Data

If you agreed with a presidential candidate on other issues, but not on the issue of abortion, do you think you could still vote for that candidate or not?

Yes

69%

No

22%

Not sure

9%

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

May 2007

Dec. 2005

Legal all cases

17%

19%

Legal most cases

37%

38%

Illegal most cases

26%

25%

Illegal all cases

13%

14%

Not sure

7%

4%

Source: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,166 registered American voters, conducted from Apr. 25 to May 1, 2007. Margin of error is 2.5 per cent.