Survey: Majority of Americans Still Want to Keep Abortions Legal

Most people in the United States still believe abortion should be allowed, a recent poll found.

In a poll by TNS, released by the Washington Post and ABC News, American adults were asked in telephone interviews whether they thought abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases.

Of those who participated, 55 percent said they think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 43 percent disagreed.

While the results show that the number of respondents who support legal abortions in all or most cases has been fairly consistent since February 2007, the percentage of Americans who would want abortion to be legal in all cases dropped from 23 to 19 between July and November.

In contrast, the number of those who believe the termination of a pregnancy should always be illegal has been steadily climbing since February, rising from 14 percent in July to 16 percent in November.

But Americans who support making abortion illegal in most cases has been dropping. In February, 31 percent of respondents said they wanted abortions in most cases to be declared illegal but that figure went down to 27 percent in the recent poll.

Under the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling, women have a right to choose an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. The ruling also regulated the procedure during the second trimester "in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health."

The Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning certain late-term abortions in April 2007.

There were 1,131 American adults who participated in the survey TNS conducted from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.