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

e difficult for a woman to have an abortion, but 28 percent now favor legal means to open up access to abortion -- double the 14 percent seen in 2009. Thirty-eight percent favored no change at all to current laws.

More Republicans favored laws to make abortion more difficult (58 percent) than did Democrats (20 percent), and more Democrats (38 percent) wanted to make access to abortion easier compared to Republicans (18 percent).

However, most of the state initiatives that have garnered attention recently received only lukewarm support in the poll. For example, only one-third of respondents felt that eliminating public funding for Planned Parenthood was a good idea, while 55 percent felt the funding should be kept in place.

One state initiative that did get substantial approval was the proposal that all women considering abortion get an ultrasound first. Forty-seven percent of those polled supported the idea while 38 percent opposed it.

Most people (64 percent) also felt that abortion should not be allowed after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, while 22 percent felt it could be allowed after that date.

Overall, three-quarters of adults polled believed there should be a cut-off on how late in a pregnancy an abortion can be performed, compared to 13 percent who thought there should be no such limit.

"Given that Roe v. Wade ruled that the right to privacy protects abortion rights through the first two trimesters of pregnancy, it is notable that there is significant support for restricting abortion after 20 weeks," said Colamonico. "This shows that while support for abortion rights and access remains strong, a majority of Americans would tinker with the current law if it meant only minor changes to it."

More people supported allowing insurance coverage of abortion than opposed it (44 percent versus 36 percent). Based on that result, Colamonico believes that "denying coverage and access is not something that [most] Am
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