By John Jalsevac
August 4, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new Gallup poll released today has again found that more Americans are calling themselves pro-life than pro-choice – a finding that Gallup speculates could be due in part to Obama's pro-abortion views.
According to the mid-July poll, 47% of Americans call themselves “pro-life,” while 46% call themselves pro-choice.
The numbers have equalized somewhat since May, when Gallup found that 51% defined themselves as pro-life and 42% as pro-choice. The May poll was the first time since Gallup polling on the question began in 1995 that pro-life respondents outnumbered pro-choice.
“In 2009, the ratio of Americans identifying themselves as 'pro-choice' versus 'pro-life' and the percentage saying abortion should be legal 'under any circumstances' are at or near the lowest levels seen in Gallup trends,” writes Gallup author Lydia Saad about the recent poll.
Saad speculates that the huge jump in pro-life respondents in the May poll may have had to do with the media coverage surrounding Obama's appearance at Notre Dame – an event that may have clued many Americans in to the President's strong pro-abortion views, and created a backlash.
Saad also observes that the July poll was conducted in the wake of the press coverage of the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller – coverage that was largely unsympathetic to the pro-life cause. Nevertheless, the number of respondents self-describing as pro-life still edged out those who were pro-choice.
“On a long-term basis, both 2009 measures, although differing slightly from one another, indicate a modest shift toward the 'pro-life' position,” wrote Saad.
In a separate poll Gallup also asked respondents their views on whether abortion should be legal in some, all, or no cases. In both the May and July polls, those who said that abortion should be legal in all or no cases are about equal, at 21% and 18% respectively according to the July poll. That leaves 57% saying that abortion should only be legal in certain circumstances.
These findings mark a major shift since the mid 1990s, when those who believed abortion should be legal in all circumstances significantly outnumbered those who believed it should be illegal. Those numbers peaked in 1995, with 33% saying abortion should be legal in all circumstances, and 13% saying it should never be legal.
The Gallup poll also found that the shift in pro-life sentiment is largely thanks to Republicans and Independents, whereas Democrats have not significantly changed their views on the issue in recent years.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
More Americans “Pro-Life” Than “Pro-Choice” for First Time Since 1995: Gallup Poll