Poll Finds Support for Legal Abortion Slipping

NEW YORK, JULY 3, 2001 (Zenit.org).- An ABC News/Beliefnet poll shows support for legal abortion in the United States has slipped to its lowest level since the survey began in 1995, but Catholics favor abortion as much as any other group does.

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The poll, conducted by telephone from June 20 to 24, found that just over half, or 52%, of Americans said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, down from 59% in January, Reuters reported.

Forty-three percent said it should be illegal in all or most cases, the highest number since the poll started asking the question in 1995. The January poll found 39% opposed in all or most cases.

Religious beliefs or affiliation played a large role in respondents´ views on abortion, the poll found, with 63% of evangelical white Protestants saying it should be illegal in all or most cases and 35% favoring a ban in all cases. But two-thirds of non-evangelical white Protestants said it should be generally legal.

Catholics mirrored the public at large in their views, with 55% saying it should generally be legal.

Support for legal abortion has averaged 56% in a dozen polls in the past five years, with opposition at 41%.

The poll of 1,022 adults drawn from a random national sample had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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