Gallup: More Americans Identify as Pro-Choice for First Time in Seven Years

Pro-life activists participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, January 22, 2014. Pope Francis used Twitter to back the annual anti-abortion rally, which was expected to draw hundreds of thousands of activists to Washington on Wednesday. | (Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

For the first time in seven years, more Americans identify themselves as pro-choice than pro-life on abortion, according to Gallup.

Fifty percent of Americans identified themselves as pro-choice while 44 percent identified themselves as pro-life, according to the results released Friday. This marks the first time since 2008 that pro-choicers had a statistically significant lead on pro-lifers.

Since 2009, Americans have been about evenly divided between pro-choice and pro-life identifiers. Before that, pro-choicers had consistently outnumbered pro-lifers. The high marks for pro-life identifiers were in 2009 and 2012 when 51 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of Americans identified as pro-life.

When asked more specifically about their stance on abortion, rather than how they identify, abortion views look more complicated.

Among those who identified themselves as pro-choice, only half said that abortion should be legal under any circumstances. Similarly, among pro-lifers, about half, 51 percent, said abortion should be legal in only a few circumstances.

Since 2001, pro-choice identification has increased 12 percentage points among Democrats. In that same period, Republican and independent pro-choice identifiers have remained fairly stable, from 30 to 31 percent and 55 to 50 percent, respectively.

The poll also found that women are more likely than men to identify as pro-choice, 54 to 46 percent. And those 55 and older are the least likely to identify as pro-choice, 47 percent, compared to 35 to 55 year olds (52 percent) and 18 to 34 year olds (53 percent).

The May 6-10 poll of 1,024 adults living in the U.S. has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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