56 Percent of Americans Say Abortion is ‘Morally Wrong,’ Poll Finds

January 22, 2010 - 5:11 PM
After 37 years of legalized abortion, the majority of Americans still say it is morally wrong – with even stronger support among those aged 18 to 29.

(AP photo/ABC News)

(CNSNews.com) - After 37 years of legalized abortion, 56 percent of all Americans still say it is morally wrong – and 58 percent of those aged 18 to 29 take that position.
 
The poll was conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and is the latest in a series of such surveys commissioned by the Knights of Columbus.
 
“Americans of all ages – and younger people in even greater numbers than their parents – see abortion as something morally wrong,” K of C Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said. “America has turned a corner and is embracing life – and in doing so is embracing a future they – and all of us – can be proud of.”
 
Anderson told CNSNews.com that he wasn’t surprised at the results.
 
‘Given what polling we’ve done in the past, it’s consistent, so from that standpoint, no, I’m not surprised,” he said. "Medical technologies, like 3-D ultrasound, are revealing so much more clearly the humanity of the unborn child. 

“Conversely, a lot of people know women who have had an abortion and have come to realize that it wasn’t really a good experience for her. I think when you think about those dynamics, you’re not surprised.
 
“On the other hand, when you just look at it on the surface, these are people who have known nothing other than a regime of legal abortion, so you would expect them to be fully supportive of it, but they are not. And that’s a consistent finding over a good period time now,” Anderson said. 
 
The poll asked: "Regardless of whether or not you think it should be legal, do you believe that in general, each one of the following issues is morally acceptable or morally wrong?
 
-- 58 percent of those aged 18 to 29 – known as "Millennials"-- consider abortion to be "morally wrong."
 
-- 61 percent of Generation X (those 30-44) feel the same way.
 
-- 51 percent of Baby Boomers (those aged 45-64) agreed.
 
-- 62 percent of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) say it is morally wrong.
 
In previous polls (conducted in October of 2008 and July of 2009), an overwhelming number of Americans (86 percent) said they would “significantly restrict” abortion and 60 percent would limit it to cases of rape, incest, to save the life of the mother – or not allow it at all.
 
“So 60 percent of all Americans would legally restrict abortion along the lines of the Hyde Amendment, so that only about 4 or 5 percent of the abortions that are occurring now – which is to say those done to save the life of a mother or in cases of rape or incest – would be legal. 95 percent or so would not be,” Anderson said.
 
The question on abortion was part of a larger survey, which will be released in the next several days.
 
The poll surveyed 2,243 Americans -- including an oversample of 1,006 Millennials. Reports for Americans have a margin of error of +/-2 percent and for Millennials it is +/-3 percent. Data were collected from Dec. 23, 2009 through Jan. 4, 2010 using an online, probability-based panel from Knowledge Networks, Inc.