Poll: US increasingly polarized on abortion

According to a new poll, Americans are very evenly split on the issue of abortion rights, but those on either end of the issue are growing more polarized on the issue.

A Gallup survey shows 47 percent of people identify themselves as pro-abortion rights versus 46 percent who identify themselves as anti-abortion rights.

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When Gallup began polling people about their position on abortion rights in 1995, 55 percent of people were squarely in the pro-abortion rights camp versus 33 percent in the anti-abortion rights camp.

However, the ratio of people who identify themselves as pro-abortion rights has dropped significantly since then and held neck and neck since 2010.

Partisanship seems to be the greatest predictor of where people stand on the issue. Approximately two-thirds of Republicans say they are anti-abortion rights and about the same ratio of Democrats say they are pro-abortion rights.

Another long-term poll by Gallup also found that, while half of Americans have consistently said abortion should only be legal under certain circumstances, there has been a growing level of polarization among the other half, with 28 percent of people now saying it should be legal in all cases and 21 percent saying it should never be legal.

“The percentages on the extremes — those favoring total legality or illegality — have crept up, presumably to the delight of their respective comrades in the Republican and Democratic parties,” notes Gallup.