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More continue to say abortion is morally wrong than morally acceptable in latest Gallup survey

by | Jun 24, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

Each year, Gallup presents what it calls its “Values and Beliefs poll,” which is simply asking people whether a series of behaviors are “morally acceptable” or “morally wrong.” This poll typically precedes a series of polls specifically on abortion.

Megan Brenan tells us that this year’s poll, conducted May 1-13, found that 47% of respondents said abortion was morally wrong, 44% said abortion was morally acceptable. 

Michael Foust reminds us that since the question was first asked in 2001, the percentage saying abortion is not morally acceptable has always exceeded the percentage responding that abortion is morally acceptable.

Unfortunately, the divide is essentially along ideological lines. 70% of those who identified as liberal/very liberal said abortion is morally acceptable while less than a fifth (18%) of those who identify as conservative/very conservative told Gallup abortion is morally acceptable. Last year’s liberal/conservative split was almost as stark: 73% to 23%,

What about Doctor-assisted suicide? The numbers were almost identical to last year’s results. Brenan writes that 51% said it was morally acceptable (52% in 2019) compared with 43% who told Gallup that  Doctor-assisted suicide was morally wrong (44% in 2019).

Two huge qualifiers. You get dramatically different results when the abortion question goes from the abstract to the concrete. Last year Pew Research reported that 

A slight majority of Americans (52%) say having an abortion is morally wrong. One quarter says it is not a moral issue, and just 10% say it is morally acceptable. (The remaining 12% say that the morality of abortion depends on the situation or refuse to express an opinion.)

Just to be clear more than five times as many Americans (52%) say having an abortion is morally wrong than say it is morally acceptable (10%).

Thanks to you, the public continues to agree that having an abortion is morally wrong and in numbers much, much larger than Gallup’s results suggest.

Just a quick word on “Doctor assisted suicide.” When you add “Doctor” to assisting someone to take their life, all of sudden there in automatic aura of respectability. That is why the pro-assisted suicide crowd so loves that formulation.

As noted above, we will be getting polls about abortion per se in the weeks and months to come.

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Categories: Polling