‘Pro-Choice’ Americans at Record Low 41 Percent

A pro-life group is symbolically gagged during a vigil in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. (Ben Schumin)
Score one for the pro-life movement in its various manifestations. It seems their pro-choice counterparts are losing some momentum among the American public.

Only 41 percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-choice, according to a recent Gallup Poll. That compares with 47 percent in July 2011 and just one percentage point below recorded data in 2009.

Lydia Saad, a senior editor at Gallup, noted that abortion has been the focal point of some prominent news stories in the past year, including congressional efforts to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood because of its abortion services, as well as to investigate Planned Parenthood's financial practices.

She also noted the widely reported controversy over the Susan G. Komen for the Cure cancer foundation's temporary decision to suspend grants to Planned Parenthood pending the outcome of that congressional investigation. Then there’s the legal dispute between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration over contraception mandates in the health care bill.

“Whether any of these controversies is related to the shift in Americans' identification as pro-choice or pro-life is not clear,” Saad wrote in her report. “However, it is notable that while Americans' labeling of their position has changed, their fundamental views on the issue have not. If the advantage for the 'pro-life' position persists in future Gallup updates on abortion, these would seem to be important factors to look at to help explain the shift in labeling."

Melinda Delahoyde, president of Care Net, welcomed the news of a decline in the percentage of pro-choice Americans across all three political groups. As she sees it, this shift in American culture is deepening as Americans become more aware of the basic humanity of preborn babies.

"More Americans are viewing themselves as pro-life and are taking actions consistent with that position, such as supporting pregnancy centers, choosing adoption, and voting their values,” Delahoyde says. “It is also encouraging to note that more Americans are finding common ground on life-affirming policies, such as informed consent, limiting late term abortions and parental notification and consent when minors seek an abortion."

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