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abortion
(12/12/07) -

More Americans Want Stricter Abortion Laws

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The number of people in the United States who would support tighter regulations on pregnancy termination has increased, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 43 per cent of respondents think abortion should be allowed but under stricter laws, up four points since September.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The number of people in the United States who would support tighter regulations on pregnancy termination has increased, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 43 per cent of respondents think abortion should be allowed but under stricter laws, up four points since September.

An additional 36 per cent of respondents think abortion should be generally available to those who want it, and 18 per cent think abortion should be illegal altogether—down seven points in three months.

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, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who is seeking the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2008, expressed his views on legal abortions, saying, "I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period. That would be wonderful. (…) I’d be delighted to sign that bill. But that’s not where we are. That’s not where America is today. Where America is, is ready to overturn Roe vs. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in the country, terrific."

Polling Data

Which of these comes closest to your view? Abortion should be generally available to those who want it; Abortion should be available but under stricter limits than it is now; or Abortion should not be permitted?

 

Dec. 2007

Sept. 2007

Jul. 2007

Generally available

36%

34%

41%

Stricter limits

43%

39%

34%

Not be permitted

18%

25%

22%

Not sure

3%

2%

2%

Source: New York Times / CBS News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,133 American adults, conducted from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.