More Americans identify themselves as “pro-choice” than “pro-life,” according to a new Gallup report published Friday from the results of a May 6-10 “Values and Beliefs poll.”
The gap of 50% pro-choice respondents to 44% pro-life respondents is the first time since 2008 that pro-choice came out ahead by a statistically significant amount. The pro-choice lead represents an increasing trend since 2012. However, it is not as high, nor is the gap as great, as in polling results in the 1990s.
The pro-choice percentage among both men and women has increased steadily since 2012, but there remains a gender gap of 54% of women to 46% of men who consider themselves pro-choice.
The growth in pro-choice self-identification has happened across political party lines, though the percentage of Republicans (31%) has not quite returned to pre-2008 levels. For Democrats, the 68% response rate matches a 15-year high for the poll.
The results on attitudes about abortion fit into a broader pattern seen in Gallup’s “Values and Beliefs” poll. They show Americans finding greater ideological identification as social liberals and less as social conservatives, leading to a tie between the two groups for the first time since 1999, when Gallup began keeping track.
The poll finds a leftward shift on moral values, as well. Americans were found to be more accepting of behaviors ranging from homosexuality to embryonic stem cell research, as compared to results from 2001. Greater moral acceptance of sexual issues also extends beyond gay relationships and includes extra-marital sex and having a baby out of wedlock.