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Pro-life researcher skeptical of Gallup poll showing rise in support for abortion

Abortion, Supreme Court
Abortion-rights activists Carrie McDonald (C) and Soraya Bata react to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health overturns the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade case and returns abortion laws to the states. |

A pro-life researcher is skeptical about a recent Gallup poll that reportedly found an overall increase in support for legal abortion, citing problems with the demographic breakdown. 

Last month, the United States Supreme Court upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban with its 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. 

A recent Gallup poll conducted May 2-22 that assessed Americans' views on abortion purportedly found an increase in the number of people who identify as pro-choice.

In a sample of more than 1,000 participants, Gallup’s data show that 55% of U.S. adults identify as pro-choice compared to 39% who identify as pro-life. Another 5% of U.S. adults said they had no opinion on the issue. 

Michael J. New, researcher and associate scholar at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, noted in a piece for National Review that he doubted the poll's findings. 

New said most of the increase in support for legal abortion appears to have occurred among racial minorities, but this opinion seems too sudden, especially when compared to the lack of change one way or the other for white respondents.

“It makes little sense that the leak of the Dobbs decision would have a large impact on the views of racial minorities but only a marginal impact on the attitude of whites,” New said in an emailed statement to The Christian Post. 

The poll found that only 10% of "people of color" thought abortion should be “illegal in all” circumstances. New wrote in his National Review article that previous Gallup polls had indicated that 23% of “total Hispanic or non-white Americans” said they believe that abortion should be “illegal in all” circumstances. 

New expressed doubt that a 13% drop could have taken place while the overall attitudes of non-minorities on abortion appear to have stayed the same. 

He further explained that Gallup polls conducted between 2017 and 2019 found that 34% of Hispanics thought abortion should be “illegal in all” circumstances, adding that a “decline of approximately 24 points in less than five years strains credulity.”

The pro-life researcher also noted that Gallup polls between 2018 and 2021 found that 16% of whites thought abortion should be “illegal in all” circumstances. He noted that the recent survey found “little change” in white respondents’ abortion attitudes. 

“This new Gallup poll also has unusual findings regarding the abortion attitudes of low-income earners,” New wrote. “In Gallup polls between 2018 and 2021, 24% of those earning less than $40,000 a year said abortion should be ‘illegal in all’ circumstances.”

“But the latest poll finds that only 15 percent of those making less than $40,000 a year said the same. A nine-point drop over a short time period is surprising.” 

New is asking Gallup to provide a detailed racial breakdown of the results of their 2022 abortion poll and that they consider commissioning another poll on abortion attitudes. 

“Abortion has become an exceptionally salient political issue in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision,” the pro-life researcher wrote to CP. “As such, accurate and detailed information about the abortion attitudes of key political demographics would certainly benefit activists, legislators, and the general public.” 

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