Health‎ > ‎

Americans Show Rising Support for Abortion Rights: Poll

posted 25 Jul 2011, 17:09 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 25 Jul 2011, 17:11 ]
Results of Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey run counter to states' recent efforts to curb access

NORWALK, Conn.July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite recent moves by some states to restrict access to abortion, more Americans now support a woman's right to choose than they did two years ago, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds.

Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of those polled in 2009 supported the idea that a woman should have access to abortion in "all circumstances." But that number has risen to 36 percent in 2011 -- the highest proportion seen in Harris polls on the issue since 1985.

At the same time, the percentage of Americans opposed to abortion under any circumstances fell from 21 percent in 2009 to 17 percent this year.

The poll also found that almost half of U.S. adults (47 percent) favored permitting abortion under "some [but not all] circumstances," a slight dip from the 53 percent observed in 2009.

Although the poll's demographics are similar to 2009, the most recent study was done exclusively online, which can have some implications for sensitive topics such as abortion.

"Despite the current trend of fiscal conservatism in the United States stemming from the economic downturn, Americans overall remain socially moderate on abortion rights," said Jennifer Colamonico, senior vice president for healthcare research at Harris Interactive, which conducted the online survey of nearly 2,400 adults at the beginning of July.

The poll results come against the backdrop of recent moves by some states to restrict access to abortion. These include legislation banning insurance coverage for abortion in the health insurance exchanges created as part of last year's federal health care reform; requirements that all women who are considering an abortion get an ultrasound first; and cutting public funding for Planned Parenthood. In some states, such as IndianaIowaKansas and North Carolina, some of these moves have already been implemented, according to published reports.

The poll included 2,362 U.S. adults over age 18 who were surveyed online between July 6 to 8, 2011, byHarris Interactive, one of the world's leading custom market research firms, and HealthDay, a leading producer and syndicator of health news.

The complete findings of the newest joint Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll are available here.  HealthDay's news report is available here. Full data on the poll and its methodology are available at Harris Interactive.

About HealthDay

HealthDay, a division of Scout News LLC, is a leading producer and syndicator of evidence-based health news for consumers and physicians and is the largest syndicator of that news to Internet sites. Its consumer health news service (www.healthday.com) appears on more than 5,000 websites such as Yahoo!, MSN Health, iVillage, US News.com, hundreds of hospitals and hospital group websites, as well as print publication websites across the country. HealthDay also produces Physician's Briefing (www.physiciansbriefing.com), a news service for physicians, nurses and other medical professionals updated twice daily providing 15 articles a day across 32 medical specialties. HealthDay also provides custom content for major health portals. The newest addition to the HealthDay portfolio is HealthDay TV –a 90-second news broadcast of essential health information that appears on several major media websites, U.S. government websites and other health information sites.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.  

TABLE 1A

FAVOR PERMITTING ABORTIONS


"In general, do you favor permitting a woman who wants one to have an abortion in all circumstances, some circumstances or no circumstances?"


                Base: All Adults



Total

Political ID

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Other

%

%

%

%

%

All circumstances

36

20

49

37

31

Some circumstances

47

54

43

49

40

No circumstances

17

26

9

14

29

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 1B

FAVOR PERMITTING ABORTIONS – BY AGE AND GENDER


"In general, do you favor permitting a woman who wants one to have an abortion in all circumstances, some circumstances or no circumstances?"


                Base: All Adults



Total

Age

Gender

18-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-64

65+

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

All circumstances

36

33

31

38

36

40

31

34

37

Some circumstances

47

44

52

41

50

47

52

51

44

No circumstances

17

23

17

22

14

14

17

15

19

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.




TABLE 1C

FAVOR PERMITTING ABORTIONS – TREND


"In general, do you favor permitting a woman who wants one to have an abortion in all circumstances, some circumstances or no circumstances?"


                Base: All Adults



1985

1992

1993

1996

1998

2005

2006

2007

2009

2011

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

All circumstances

26

29

30

25

23

23

24

25

23

36

Some circumstances

53

54

55

53

58

55

53

52

53

47

No circumstances

20

14

14

19

17

21

20

20

21

17

Not sure

1

3

2

4

1

1

4

2

4

NA

Note: Perc entages may not add to 100% due to rounding; NA signifies that response choice was not given. Previous years conducted by telephone.




TABLE 2A

LAWS ABOUT ABORTION


"Do you favor laws that would make it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, favor laws that would make it easier to get an abortion or should no change be made to existing abortion laws?"

                Base: All Adults



Total

Political ID

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Other

%

%

%

%

%

Making it more difficult to get an abortion

34

58

20

31

34

Make it easier to get an abortion

28

18

38

28

20

No change

38

24

42

41

46

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 2B

LAWS ABOUT ABORTION


"Do you favor laws that would make it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, favor laws that would make it easier to get an abortion or should no change be made to existing abortion laws?"

                Base: All Adults



Total

Age

Gender

18-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-64

65+

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Making it more difficult to get an abortion

34

32

31

35

37

30

38

33

35

Make it easier to get an abortion

28

36

30

26

28

29

25

30

27

No change

38

33

39

39

35

41

37

37

39

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 2C

LAWS ABOUT ABORTION -- TREND


"Do you favor laws that would make it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, favor laws that would make it easier to get an abortion or should no change be made to existing abortion laws?"

                Base: All Adults



1992

1993

1998

2005

2006

2007

2009

2011

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Making it more difficult to get an abortion

34

35

40

42

40

42

41

34

Make it easier to get an abortion

18

22

16

13

15

16

14

28

No change

44

39

39

42

40

38

40

38

Not sure

4

3

4

1

6

4

6

NA

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding; NA signifies that response choice was not given. Previous years conducted by telephone.




TABLE 3A

SUPPORT OR OPPOSE POLICIES


"Below is a list of policies that have been either implemented already or proposed in some states.  Please indicate if you support or oppose each of the policies?"


                Base: All Adults



Support (NET)

Strongly support

Somewhat support

Oppose (NET)

Somewhat oppose

Strongly oppose

Not at all sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Not allowing abortion after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy

64

44

20

22

11

11

14

Requiring all pregnant women to have an ultrasound scan of the fetus before having an abortion

47

29

18

38

12

26

15

Not allowing private insurance companies that use the new insurance exchanges to offer insurance coverage for abortion services

36

24

12

44

15

30

20

Eliminating all state funding for Planned Parenthood

33

23

11

55

14

41

12

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to roundi ng.




TABLE 3B

SUPPORT OR OPPOSE PO LICIES


"Below is a list of policies that have been either implemented already or proposed in some states.  Please indicate if you support or oppose each of the policies?"


Summary of those saying "strongly support" or "somewhat support"


                Base: All Adults



Total

Political ID

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Other

%

%

%

%

%

Not allowing abortion after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy

64

81

57

60

63

Requiring all pregnant women to have an ultrasound scan of the fetus before having an abortion

47

67

38

39

47

Not allowing private insurance companies that use the new insurance exchanges to offer insurance coverage for abortion services

36

60

23

32

30

Eliminating all state funding for Planned Parenthood

33

59

16

34

29

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.




TABLE 3C

SUPPORT OR OPPOSE POLICIES – BY AGE AND GENDER


"Below is a list of policies that have been either implemented already or proposed in some states.  Please indicate if you support or oppose each of the policies?"


Summary of those saying "strongly support" or "somewhat support"


                Base: All Adults



Total

Age

Gender

18-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-64

65+

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Not allowing abortion after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy

64

65

70

63

62

65

65

62

67

Requiring all pregnant women to have an ultrasound scan of the fetus before having an abortion

47

49

52

49

42

43

52

47

46

Not allowing private insurance companies that use the new insurance exchanges to offer insurance coverage for abortion services

36

37

40

34

33

34

42

39

33

Eliminating all state funding for Planned Parenthood

33

32

35

35

29

29

43

39

28

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.




TABLE 4A

LIMITATIONS ON LEGAL ABORTIONS


"For those cases where an abortion is allowed by the law, do you think there should be some limitation regarding how late in the pregnancy it should be permitted?"


                Base: All Adults



Total

Political ID

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Other

%

%

%

%

%

Yes, there should be some limitation.

74

85

71

72

73

No, there should be no limitation.

13

8

17

13

10

Not at all sure.

13

8

12

15

17

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.




TABLE 4B

LIMITATIONS ON LEGAL ABORTIONS – BY AGE AND GENDER


"For those cases where an abortion is allowed by the law, do you think there should be some limitation regarding how late in the pregnancy it should be permitted?"


                Base: All Adults



Total

Age

Gender

18-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-64

65+

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes, there should be some limitation.

74

68

71

72

73

78

80

71

77

No, there should be no limitation.

13

16

13

13

15

13

8

14

11

Not at all sure.

13

16

16

15

13

10

12

14

12

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.




TABLE 5A

WHEN SHOULD ABORTIONS BE PERMITTED?


"You indicated that there should be some limitation regarding how late in pregnancy abortion should be permitted.  For those cases where abortion is allowed by the law, which of the following comes closest to your views on what this limitation should be?

Abortions should be permitted…"


Base: Adults who say there should be some limitation on how late in pregnancy abortion should be permitted



Total

Political ID

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Other

%

%

%

%

%

Only within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy

43

53

37

35

45

Only within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

13

11

15

13

9

Only within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy

11

7

12

17

11

Only within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy

4

4

5

5

2

Only within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy

3

1

5

3

*

After 28 weeks of pregnancy

1

*

2

2

3

Not at all sure

25

23

24

26

30




TABLE 5B

WHEN SHOULD ABORTIONS BE PERMITTED?


"You indicated that there should be some limitation regarding how late in pregnancy abortion should be permitted.  For those cases where abortion is allowed by the law, which of the following comes closest to your views on what this limitation should be?

Abortions should be permitted…"


Base: Adults who say there should be some limitation on how late in pregnancy abortion should be permitted



Total

Age

Gender

18-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-64

65+

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Only within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy

43

33

38

44

43

45

47

36

49

Only within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

13

13

11

10

15

13

15

12

14

Only within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy

11

17

10

12

10

11

9

13

9

Only within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy

4

7

9

6

3

2

3

6

3

Only within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy

3

3

4

5

4

2

1

3

3

After 28 weeks of pregnancy

1

3

*

1

1

2

1

1

1

Not at all sure

25

24

28

22

24

26

24

29

21




Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States July 6 to 8, 2011 among 2,362 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal. 

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Full data available at www.harrisinteractive.com.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.  

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
press@harrisinteractive.net 

SOURCE Harris Interactive

Comments