WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — More than half of Americans misjudge the country’s views on abortion, believing incorrectly that the U.S. public is predominantly “pro-choice.”

A new Gallup poll asked respondents how other fellow Americans feel about abortion: 51 percent of U.S. adults said they think the public is mostly “pro-choice,” while 35 percent said “pro-life” stances held the majority.

However, the perception that the pro-choice stance dominates American opinion contrasts with the nearly even, realistic division of U.S. adults’ viewpoints.

The same Gallup poll finds that 48 percent of U.S. adults identify themselves as pro-life and 45 percent labeled themselves as pro-choice. Also, 5 percent said they had no opinion on the issue, and 7 percent said they had mixed feelings on their abortion stance.

As Gallup reported last week, Americans have, for the most part, been closely divided since 2009 in their personal identification as either pro-life or pro-choice. However, the balance of these views varies sharply among demographic and political groups.

Fifty-six percent of Democrats said they think most Americans are pro-choice, while only 32 percent said they think most are pro-life. Forty-three percent of Republicans said they believe most are pro-choice, in contrast to 45 percent who said they believe most are pro-life.

Americans who reported no religious identity are the most heavily pro-choice, at 80 percent, with 15 percent identifying themselves as pro-life. This group is followed by liberals and Democrats, among whom pro-choice opinions outnumber pro-lifers by at least two-to-one.

The strongest pro-life skew of data is found among Republicans and conservatives, of whom about two-thirds are pro-life. Political moderates are the most likely among major demographic and political subgroups to believe the pro-choice position dominates national opinion.


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