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Americans Show Rising Support for Abortion Rights: Poll
Date:7/27/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Despite recent moves by some states to restrict access to abortion, more Americans now support a woman's right to choose than they did two years ago, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds.

Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of those polled in 2009 supported the idea that a woman should have access to abortion in "all circumstances." But that number has risen to 36 percent in 2011 -- the highest proportion seen in Harris polls on the issue since 1985.

At the same time, the percentage of Americans opposed to abortion under any circumstances fell from 21 percent in 2009 to 17 percent this year.

The poll also found that almost half of U.S. adults (47 percent) favored permitting abortion under "some [but not all] circumstances," a slight dip from the 53 percent observed in 2009.

"Despite the current trend of fiscal conservatism in the United States stemming from the economic downturn, Americans overall remain socially moderate on abortion rights," said Jennifer Colamonico, senior vice president for healthcare research at Harris Interactive, which conducted the online survey of nearly 2,400 adults from July 6 to 8.

The poll results come against the backdrop of recent moves by some states to restrict access to abortion. These include legislation banning insurance coverage for abortion in the health insurance exchanges created as part of last year's federal health care reform; requirements that all women who are considering an abortion get an ultrasound first; and cutting public funding for Planned Parenthood. In some states, such as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and North Carolina, some of these moves have already been implemented, according to published reports.

The public seems to be mixed on whether or not current laws on abortion need changing. Thirty-four percent said there should be laws put in place to make it mor
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