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The Abortion Debate

Public opinion on one of America's most polarizing issues
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Posted at 8:11 AM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 11:11:05-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The U.S. Supreme Court is reportedly considering overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark case which outlawed abortions would infringe on a pregnant woman's right to privacy.

The abortion debate is among the most heated in America.

For the most part, Republicans say abortion should be illegal, and Democrats say the opposite.

But not everyone stands in line with their party on this issue, and there's a lot of nuance to the debate.

The Pew Research Center has done extensive research on the public opinion on abortion.

In 2021, 59% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 39% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center.

Most Americans, however, don't take a black or white stance on abortion.

6 in 10 Americans believe that there are some circumstances when abortion should be allowed and some when it shouldn't.

Only a quarter of Americans say abortion should be allowed in all cases.

About half as many people think abortion should be illegal in all cases.

Party affiliation/Political ideology

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Looking back at the political divide, Democrats show overwhelming support for legal abortions. 8 in 10 Democrats, or people who lean Democrat, support legal abortions in most or all cases.

For Republicans, or people who lean Republican, just over a third support legal abortions.

When breaking down Republicans between conservatives and moderates, there's a clear split within the party.

A majority (59%) of moderate Republicans support legal abortions, while less than a quarter of conservative Republicans show the same support.


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A major divider on abortion viewpoints is age,

While almost half of people 50 or older believe abortion should be illegal, less than a third of people under 30 believe the same thing.


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Another major abortion viewpoint divider is education.

Americans with a high school education or less are 50/50 on abortion, while around 60% of people with some college education and nearly 70% of college graduates support legal abortions in most or all cases.


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Every major racial or ethnic group in America shows a majority support for legal abortions, but two groups show much higher support.

2 in 3 Asian and Black adults in the U.S. support legal abortions.

The two largest racial/ethnic groups in the U.S., white and hispanic americans ,show less support. Support for legal abortions in both demographics comes in under 60%.


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A majority of both men and women support legal abortions, and the numbers are pretty close.

62% of women support legal abortions, compared to 56% of men holding the same view.

{Note: the Pew Research Center's data on abortion viewpoints by religious beliefs is incomplete. Religion is, perhaps unsurprisingly, among the biggest factors in the abortion debate, but our team at KGUN 9 isn't comfortable reporting on incomplete data.}