Poll: Majority identify as 'pro-life' for first time in Gallup survey

This is sure to get people talking today: For the first time, a majority of Americans identify themselves as "pro-life" rather than "pro-choice," according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

Fifty-one percent of the 1,015 national adults surveyed said they are "pro-life" compared to 42 percent who said they are "pro-choice." Gallup notes that this is the first time a majority has said they are "pro-life" since it started asking the question in 1995.



As the chart indicates, these numbers stand in stark contrast to Gallup's findings on this question a year ago. Last year, 50 percent were "pro-choice" while 44 percent were "pro-life." Before this survey, the highest "pro-life" percentage registered in a Gallup survey was 46 percent in August 20001 and May 2002.

Gallup notes that the survey also found a change in opinion on the question of whether abortion should be legal. A majority - 53 percent - continue to believe "legal only under certain circumstances." But now more respondents - 23 percent - said it should always be illegal while 22 percent said it should be legal under any circumstances. In previous years, Gallup "found a strong tilt in public attitudes in favor of unrestricted abortion.



Also notable: More Republicans have became "pro-life" by a significant margin - 10 points - in the last year.



It will be interesting to see if this adds fuel to the debate on this issue. It is worth noting that President Obama said he supported the Freedom of Choice Act on the campaign trail but backed away from those comments in his most recent news conference, saying that it wasn't one of his top priorities.

Obama's staff has also reportedly met with groups that oppose abortion rights seeking to find proposals that they can get on board with.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com

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