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Gallup says women slightly more pro-choice than men but veteran pro-abortion pollster says women are “less likely to be pro-choice”

by | Jul 24, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

We’ve previously discussed three of Gallup’s promised six-part series on abortion and public opinion (see here; here and here).

Among other conclusions, we can say

  • More people still consider abortion morally wrong (49%) than morally acceptable (43%);
  • Unlike so many other “social issues,” where Americans’ views “have been growing more liberal, the 2018 survey results confirm that abortion continues to be an exception to the trend, with generally stable attitudes”;
  • 48% of Americans said they’re pro-life, the exact same percentage saying they’re pro-choice; and
  • A majority (53%) say abortion should be legal in only a few (35%) circumstances or no circumstances (18%) while 43% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all (29%) circumstances or most (14%) circumstances.

In its June 14 posting, written by Frank Newport, we’re told “Men, Women Generally Hold Similar Abortion Attitudes.” Newport’s opening paragraph summarizes the findings from “telephone interviews conducted May 1-10, 2018, with a random sample of 1,024 adults”:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Many U.S. political leaders may think of abortion as a key “women’s issue,” but it is not an issue about which women have substantially different attitudes than men. A Gallup analysis shows that differences in views on the legality of abortion between men and women have been relatively narrow for decades, going back to the 1970s. Additionally, there are only slight differences in men’s and women’s descriptions of themselves as pro-choice or pro-life.

When it comes to concluding that abortion should be illegal in all circumstance, 19% of both men and women have held that view for the past four years. As for abortion being legal in all circumstances, “For the past four years, an average of 31% of women and 26% of men have held this view,” Newport writes.

But the key is what Gallup calls the “modal choice”:

The modal choice for both men and women is the view that abortion should be legal, but only in certain circumstances. Men have been slightly more likely than women to hold this view since the 1980s, including by a five-point average difference over the past four years.

But there’s an interesting and very revealing twist offered by Lake Research Partners president Celinda Lake, a veteran pro-abortion pollster. “Well, actually, women are less likely to be pro-choice,” she told The Hill’s Joe Concha as part of the publication’s new public opinion show which they call “What America’s Thinking.”

Lake attributed this to women being more religious, “and so women are actually slightly less pro-choice than men.” However, Lake added, people will assume a female candidate is “pro-choice.”

Categories: Polling