(WNCN) — A recent poll shows that Americans are sharply divided on their views about abortion, including its morality.
In a poll by Gallup, it’s nearly an equal split between those who believe it is morally acceptable (47 percent), and those who think it is morally wrong (46 percent).
According to researchers, the 47 percent who believe it is morally acceptable is a record-high in two decades of measurement that Gallup has recorded.
Most recently, 50 percent of Americans in 2019 believed abortion was morally wrong, a number that has declined every year since. Since 2001, the highest percentage of Americans that believed it was morally acceptable before 2021 was 44 percent back in 2020.
The gap between those who believed it was morally wrong and acceptable has tightened every year since 2009, when 56 percent of Americans saw abortion as morally wrong, to 36 percent who saw it the other way.
In nearly every year since 2005, majorities of Democrats have expressed a belief in the moral acceptability of abortion. Meanwhile, no more than 31 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independents have held the same view since 2001, Gallup researchers report.
Further metrics say the 18-34 age group are the largest “pro-choice” group while the 55 and older age group believe mostly in “pro-life”.
Democratic respondents to the poll represented 70 percent of pro-choice views, while 74 percent of Republican respondents sided with pro-life.
Researchers also found that Americans are more likely to believe abortion should be legal “only under certain circumstances” (48 percent) than to favor it being legal “under any circumstances” (32 percent).
The bottom line is that abortion is a divisive issue in the United States, research shows, as nearly an equal amount of people are other either side of the fence on the topic.
The issue of abortion is playing out in many state governments across the United States. Most recently, a federal appeals court blocked a sweeping Missouri abortion law that bans the procedures at or after eight weeks of pregnancy.
Back in May in North Carolina, the state House of Representatives approved a bill that would bar physicians from performing abortions based on race or the presence of Down syndrome.
House Bill 453 would require a physician to attest to the state that a woman seeking an abortion did not do so because of the presumed race of the fetus or diagnosis of Down syndrome.
They would have to pay damages for violating the law.
The state senate later approved a bill that would require doctors to provide the same duty of care for a child who is born alive after an attempted abortion that they would for any other newborn.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper rejected a similar measure in 2019, citing “unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients.” Republicans overturned his veto in one chamber but did not have the votes to do so in the other. The latest proposal likely would face a similar Cooper veto.
Abortion rights groups, including Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, oppose the measure, as they consider it an attack on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina warned that if the bill becomes law, doctors would be forced to make futile efforts to keep alive infants with no chance of survival.
“Medical professionals are trained to make appropriate decisions about what actions they should take in certain scenarios,” Liz Barber, an ACLU of North Carolina policy analyst, said in a news release. “It is unimaginable that lawmakers would interject themselves into those final moments in a way that disregards a family’s wishes and a doctor’s training during such a difficult time.”