National Partnership for Women & Families

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Poll Finds Majority of U.S. Residents Support Abortion Rights

Poll Finds Majority of U.S. Residents Support Abortion Rights

November 5, 2015 — A majority of U.S. residents say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a Pew Research Center poll released on Tuesday, Vocativ reports (Byrne/Evers, Vocativ, 11/3).

For the poll, Pew researchers surveyed more than 35,000 U.S. adults between June 4, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2014. The poll examined religious practices and beliefs, and social and political values among U.S. residents.

Key Findings

The poll found that 53% of U.S. residents think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. According to Pew Research, the figure has remained relatively unchanged since 2007, when 51% of U.S. residents held this view.

When broken down by religious belief, the report found that about 75% of U.S. residents who affiliate with non-Christian faiths and roughly 73% of religiously unaffiliated U.S. residents support legal abortion in all or most cases. Meanwhile, about 45% of U.S. residents who identify as Christian support abortion rights in all or most cases, including 60% of "Mainline" Protestants and Orthodox Christians (Pew poll, 11/3).

Further, the poll found that support for abortion rights was consistent across multiple generations among some religious affiliations. For example, Catholic millennials, generation Xers and Baby Boomers support abortion at similar rates (Vocativ, 11/3). Among Catholics in those generations, support for abortion is around 48% (Pew poll, 11/3).