|Is Abortion Wrong Most of the Time?|
|In the United States, is it too easy for a woman to get an abortion or too hard?|
The Supreme Court’s recent decision on partial-birth abortion has not caught the attention of most Americans. Perhaps because it was released during the same week as the tragedy at Virginia Tech, just 26% of American adults said they followed news stories of the Court’s decision Very Closely. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 40% knew the ruling allowed states to place some restrictions on specific abortion procedures. Sixteen percent (16%) mistakenly believed the decision did not allow states to enact such restrictions. A plurality (44%) did not know one way or the other.
Among those who knew what the Court decided, 56% agreed with the decision and 32% were opposed. Twelve percent (12%) were not sure.
A separate survey conducted in late March found that 38% of America’s Likely Voters say the Supreme Court is doing a good or an excellent job. Forty-three percent (43%) say fair and 17% poor. Individual on the Court are less well known than many political figures, with favorable ratings for the Justices ranging from the mid-teens to a high of 48% for Clarence Thomas.
Overall, among all adults, 53% believe that abortion is morally wrong most of the time. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree. Those numbers have changed little over the past year and there is virtually no difference of opinion between men and women. Upper-income Americans are the least likely to see abortion as morally wrong. Last year’s survey found that 61% of Americans know someone who has had an abortion.
By a 71% to 22% margin, Republicans believe that abortion is morally wrong most of the time. Democrats are evenly divided on that question.
Forty-five percent (45%) of American adults believe that it is too easy for a woman to get an abortion in the United States. Twenty-two percent (22%) say it is too hard while 21% say the balance is about right. Those numbers are little changed from a year ago.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans believe it is too easy for a woman to get an abortion. Just 14% of the GOP faithful believe it is too hard. Among Democrats, 36% believe it is too easy and 30% believe it is too hard.
While abortion often becomes an election issue, it is not likely to have much impact until the general election. All candidates seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination issued statements opposing the ruling while those seeking the Republican nomination supported it.
Among the general population, 51% of Republicans knew what the Court decided last week. Just 35% of Democrats were able to do so.
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