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Number of Pro-Choice Americans Hits Record Low

The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as "pro-choice" has hit record lows according to a new Gallup survey.

Politico is reporting that the survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted earlier this month found only 41 percent of respondents identifying themselves as "pro-choice." This represents a significant drop from the 47 percent who identified themselves as "pro-choice" last July, and is now one point lower than the previous record low of 42 percent, set in May 2009.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of Americans now consider themselves to be pro-life. The pro-life position is up among all political parties with 72 percent of Republicans identifying themselves this way (up from 68%), 47 percent of independents (up from 41%), and 34 percent of Democrats (up from 27%). 

Also in the majority were Americans who believe abortion is morally wrong. Fifty-one percent say it's wrong while only 38 percent believe it's morally acceptable.

When asked about the legality of abortion, however, 72 percent of Americans still feel the procedure should be legal. While 52 percent saying it should be legal under certain circumstances, only 20 percent said they believe it should be legal under all circumstances.

According to Gallup, they began asking Americans to define themselves as being either pro-life or "pro-choice" on abortion in 1995. “ . . . (S)ince then, identification with the labels has shifted from a wide lead for the pro-choice position in the mid-1990s, to a generally narrower lead for pro-choice — from 1998 through 2008 — to a close division between the two positions since 2009,” the pollsters said.

"However, in the last period, Gallup has found the pro-life position significantly ahead on two occasions, once in May 2009 and again today. It remains to be seen whether the pro-life spike found this month proves temporary, as it did in 2009, or is sustained for some period."

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