See the latest Pew Research Center reports and data on views toward abortion in the United States and around the world.
Shifting Political Winds
Americans’ are less discontent with the federal government but no more ready for political compromise. Views of Congress remain heavily negative, while Obama’s ratings stay positive. On social issues, the public is, for the first time, evenly split on gay marriage, while support for legal abortion, legalized marijuana — but not gun control — have all risen.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Abortion Plays Small Role in Health Reform Opposition
While most Americans oppose government funding of abortion, concern about abortion funding plays only a small role in driving opposition to the health care reform legislation. If anything, opposition to reform has declined, with currently 42% in favor and 39% opposed to the health care proposals in Congress.
Support for Abortion Slips
The election of President Obama may have moved the needle on abortion opinion. Opposition to abortion is up among Republicans, while opinion has changed little among the president’s strongest backers. As the importance of abortion as an issue has declined among liberals, opposition from conservatives has become more firm.
Public Takes Conservative Turn on Gun Control, Abortion
Public attitudes on two contentious national issues — gun control and abortion — have moved in a more conservative direction over the past year. In both cases, the changes have largely been driven by shifts in attitudes among men.
Slight but Steady Majority Favors Keeping Abortion Legal
A recent Pew survey finds U.S. opinion on this perennial campaign issue remains in line with the historical pattern.
Trends in Attitudes Toward Religion and Social Issues: 1987-2007
As the ’08 elections approach, what are the views of Republicans, Democrats and the general public on “social values” issues? And how have they changed over time?
Legal Backgrounder: The Supreme Court Charts a New Direction on Abortion Jurisprudence in Gonzales v. Carhart
A Pew Forum legal backgrounder examines the new direction in jurisprudence charted by the Supreme Court’s April 2007 ruling that the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act does not violate the constitutional right to abortion.
Abortion Ruling Sets New State Battle Lines
Prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s approval of a federal ban on partial-birth abortion, activists on both sides of the abortion battle are aiming their sights at state capitols, where new campaigns already are under way.
High Court Decision Could Raise Abortion’s Profile in Campaign
Although the court did not entirely eliminate the health exception, Wednesday’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding a federal law banning a controversial abortion procedure probably made the waiver less meaningful. This will almost certainly energize both sides in the abortion debate and put pressure on presidential contenders to take clearer positions on the issue.