NASHVILLE (BP) — Abortion pro-choicers significantly outnumber pro-lifers in the U.S. for the first time in seven years, according to the Gallup 2015 Values and Beliefs poll.
Half of Americans identified themselves as pro-choice in the poll that has since 2001 tracked Americans’ views on abortion. The last time pro-choicers accounted for such a large chunk of the populace was in 2008, when they also numbered 50 percent.
Of those polled, 44 percent identified themselves as pro-life, the same percentage found in 2008, Gallup reported.
“The pro-choice view is not as prevalent among Americans as it was in the mid-1990s, but the momentum for the pro-life position that began when Barack Obama took office has yielded to a pro-choice rebound,” Gallup concluded. “That rebound has essentially restored views to where they were in 2008; today’s views are also similar to those found in 2001.”
Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd said the faithful must be vigilant in holding to the biblical worldview that human life begins at conception.
“Any decline in America’s commitment to the unborn child, will lead toward an accelerating desecration of human life, resulting in more abuse, more violence, and more chaotic disruption,” Floyd told Baptist Press in a written statement. “God has created us to bring Him glory. When we devalue human life in any way from the womb to the tomb, we are robbing God of His intended glory for each of us.”
For most of the past five years, Americans have been almost evenly divided between pro-life and pro-choice, except in 2012 when pro-lifers numbered 50 percent as compared to 41 percent pro-choice, Gallup reported.
Among other results of the poll, 54 percent of women identify themselves as pro-choice, compared to 46 percent of men. Politically, 31 percent of Republicans identify as pro-choice, almost unchanged from 30 percent in 2008; 50 percent of Independents identify as pro-choice, down from 54 percent in 2008, and 68 percent of Democrats identify as pro-choice, up from 59 percent in 2008.
The telephone survey polled 1,024 adults 18 and older in the 50 states and D.C., with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, Gallup said.
Despite a decline in pro-lifers, abortion rates in the U.S. were lower in 2011 than they’ve been since the 1970s, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) said in its 2015 State of Abortion in the U.S. States report in January.
After the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, abortions rose to 1.5 million a year by 1980 and peaked at 1.6 million in 1990, but began dropping in subsequent years, NRLC reported, and were down to just over a million in 2011.
“There is a long way to go, but it is clear that we have made a lot of progress,” NRLC said in its report. “Abortions in the United States today are down to levels not seen since the 1970s, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide.
“Declining abortion rates and ratios show that this is not merely a statistical anomaly,” NRLC said. Since 1973, an estimated 57 million unborn babies have been aborted.