Gallup Poll: 53% of Americans Want All or Most Abortions Made Illegal

By Steven Ertelt,

Gallup has released new National polling data on the issue of abortion, and the results are generally unchanged from the findings of previous years.

Typically the Gallup poll has found in majority of Americans oppose all or most abortions even though some Americans who technically take a pro-life position opposing abortion wrongly think they are supposedly pro-choice.

In the past, the Gallup survey has found that roughly half or just over half of Americans oppose all or almost all abortions. The newest polling data is no different.

“In a follow-up question asked of those in the middle ‘legal under certain circumstances’ group, most of these respondents say it should be legal ‘only in a few’ rather than in ‘most’ circumstances,” the polling institute reported. “The result is that 43% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all (29%) or most (14%) circumstances, while a majority of 53% say it should be legal in only a few (35%) or no circumstances (18%). No fewer than 51% of Americans have favored more restrictive abortion laws since 1994, when Gallup first asked the follow-up probe of those saying abortion should be legal under certain circumstances.”

Americans also believe abortions are morally wrong — another consistently held view over the years.


A separate question in the survey asks Americans whether abortion, along with 22 other behaviors and practices, is morally acceptable or morally wrong. By a slim five-percentage-point margin, 48% to 43%, Americans believe abortion is wrong from a moral perspective. In fact, abortion is the moral issue among those tested on which the public is most closely divided.

The 43% who believe abortion to be morally acceptable matches the percentage who say it should be legal in all or most circumstances.

Since Gallup first measured attitudes about the morality of abortion in 2001, an average of 41% have regarded it as acceptable and 49% as wrong. Though attitudes have fluctuated, at no point have more Americans said abortion is morally acceptable than have said it is morally wrong.

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 1-10, 2018, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.