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.
A recent Pew survey finds U.S. opinion on this perennial campaign issue remains in line with the historical pattern.
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?
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.
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.
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.
No hot-button issue currently dominates in the presidential campaigns, but court decisions and other events could change that quickly.
Revisiting a set of issues it last considered in 2000, a U.S. Supreme Court that has since become more conservative will hear oral arguments next week in two partial birth abortion cases. The changes in the court's composition raise the possibility of a different outcome this time.
The U.S. Supreme Court may loom largest in the legal history of abortion in the United States, but state capitols from the 1800s to today have been the crucibles of America's evolving abortion policies. Stateline.org highlights the pivotal role that states continue to play in setting abortion policy.
Cheating on your taxes, cheating on your spouse and other questions of right and wrong