US politics from outside the beltway

RSS

More Americans are pro-life and more believe abortion should be legal. (Not a typo)

A strange finding by pollsters Gallup.

American pro-choice campaigners. Photograph: Getty Images

A rather odd trio of findings by the American pollsters Gallup. The proportion of Americans describing themselves as "pro-choice" has fallen to a record low of 41 per cent:

Yet the proportion who think abortion should be illegal under all circumstances has fallen, while the proportion who think it should be legal under some or all circumstances has stayed flat (though it should be pointed out that the opposite framing is also true; "legal under certain circumstances" is obviously synonymous with "illegal under certain circumstances"):

And the proportion who think abortion is morally wrong hasn't changed:

It's hard to know what to make of the findings. It seems like the most likely reading is that there is a growing proportion of Americans who describe themselves as "pro-life", but are ambivalent about the morality of abortion and think that it should be legal in some circumstances. More conflicting views have been held in the past...