Wed, 09 Jun 2021
© REUTERS / Michael Spooneybarger
A record number of Americans find abortion to be morally acceptable, according to a new Gallup poll.
A total of 47 percent of respondents in the survey published Wednesday said they think abortion is morally acceptable, with 46 percent saying they find it to be morally wrong.
The percentage of Americans who now say abortion is morally acceptable is the highest Gallup has recorded in two decades of measurement by 2 percentage points, the polling firm said.
A poll conducted last year found a flipped result, with 47 percent of respondents indicating they thought abortion was morally wrong and 44 percent saying it was morally acceptable.
In this year's poll, 64 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of independents and 26 percent of Republicans held the view abortion is morally acceptable.
Since 2001, a majority of Democrats have indicated they believe abortion is morally acceptable, while the number of Republicans who agree has never topped 31 percent.
Americans surveyed in the new poll are split, with 49 percent identifying as "pro-choice" and 47 percent as "pro-life."
Almost half of respondents - 48 percent - said that they want abortion legal with limits, and 32 percent want it completely and totally legal. Nineteen percent said they want abortion to be completely outlawed in America.
The nearly one-third of U.S. adults who support fully legal abortions is the highest amount since the mid-1990s, Gallup noted.
Wednesday's Gallup poll was conducted May 3 through 18, among a random sample of 1,016 adults. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Comment: Something can be morally wrong, or even morally questionable, yet still legal. Morality and law aren't entirely conterminous, though there is significant overlap. Sometimes an action is merely the least bad option available, and abortion arguably falls into that category in many situations. Yet the pro-choice camp has pushed abortion so hard over the years that for some it is not only morally acceptable, but almost a moral good.