report | Apr 30, 2009

Public Takes Conservative Turn on Gun Control, Abortion

Overview Public attitudes on a pair of contentious national issues – gun control and abortion – have moved in a more conservative direction over the past year. In both cases, the changes have been driven in part by relatively large shifts among men, while opinions among women have not changed very much. For the first […]

feature | Jan 15, 2009

Abortion Views by Religious Affiliation

Thursday, Jan. 22 marks the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark abortion ruling, Roe v. Wade (1973). Abortion remains a divisive issue in the U.S., with a slim majority (53%) in favor of keeping it legal in all or most cases and four-in-ten in favor of making it illegal in all or most […]

report | Sep 30, 2008

Abortion Laws Around the World

Abortion is as controversial abroad as it is in the United States. Many governments struggle to strike a balance between the rights of pregnant women and the rights of unborn fetuses. As the following summary of abortion laws and practices in 30 countries shows, this often leads to complex policies governing when and under what […]

transcript | Sep 30, 2008

Fundamental Dignity at Every Stage of Life: An Argument Against Abortion Rights Featuring the Rev. J. Daniel Mindling

Since the Supreme Court’s historic 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the issue of a woman’s right to an abortion has fostered one of the most contentious moral and political debates in America. Opponents of abortion rights argue that life begins at conception – making abortion tantamount to homicide. Abortion rights advocates, in contrast, maintain […]

report | Sep 29, 2008

Americans and Abortion: An Overview

More than 35 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Roe v. Wade (1973) decision granted a woman the constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy, abortion remains a controversial issue. Indeed, although the frequency of abortions in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest point since 1974, the debate over abortion continues to play a […]

report | Sep 16, 2008

A Slight but Steady Majority Favors Keeping Abortion Legal

Public opinion on the legality of abortion has remained relatively stable for well over a decade, with slight majorities of the public consistently saying they favor keeping abortion legal. Polling conducted between 1995 and 2008 reveals that support for keeping abortion legal in all or most cases has fluctuated between 49% and 61% over the […]

fact sheet | Jan 17, 2008

From Roe to Stenberg: A History of Key Abortion Rulings by the Supreme Court

Navigate this document Roe v. Wade The Post-Roe Court Casey and Stenberg Reproductive issues were largely a private affair early in American history. Although abortion was deemed illegal under English common law, the state rarely took any interest in prosecuting those cases that became public. Public attitudes changed dramatically in the early 19th century, driven […]

transcript | Jun 14, 2007

After Gonzales v. Carhart : The Future of Abortion Jurisprudence

Washington, D.C. On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court handed down a major ruling on abortion rights, upholding the constitutionality of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The 5-4 decision in the case, Gonzales v. Carhart, upheld for the first time a law that bans a specific abortion method, and it did so even though […]

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