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abortion-2
(07/23/08) -

Steady Views on Roe v. Wade in U.S.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Three-in-five Americans are satisfied with the Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 63 per cent of respondents agree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Three-in-five Americans are satisfied with the Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 63 per cent of respondents agree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

In addition, 57 per cent of respondents think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 38 per cent want the procedure to be illegal in all or most cases.

The 1973 Supreme Court ruling 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."

Earlier this month, Illinois senator Barack Obama—the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in this year’s United States election—discussed his views on abortion, saying, "I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions."

Polling Data

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?

 

Jul. 2008

Aug. 2007

Dec. 2005

Agree

63%

62%

63%

Disagree

33%

32%

32%

Unsure

5%

6%

5%

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

 

Jul. 2008

Aug. 2007

May 2007

Always legal

19%

21%

17%

Usually legal

38%

36%

37%

Usually illegal

24%

24%

26%

Always illegal

14%

13%

13%

Unsure

5%

6%

7%

Source: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,783 registered American voters, conducted from Jul. 8 to Jul. 13, 2008. Margin of error is 2.3 per cent.