‘Pro-choice’ label hits record low

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The percentage of Americans identifying as “pro-choice” is at a record low, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Forty-one percent of Americans now consider themselves “pro-choice,” down from last year’s 47 percent and one percentage point lower than the last recorded low in May 2009.

Fifty percent call themselves “pro-life,” a point lower than the record 51 percent also recorded May 2009.

Gallup has been measuring Americans’ self-identification as pro-choice or pro-life on abortion since 1995.

The mid-1990s saw a wide lead for those identifying as pro-choice, and from 1998 to 2008 pro-lifers held a narrow lead over their pro-choice counterparts.

This year, the lowest percentage of Americans self-identified as pro-choice.

Gallup further reports that Americans’ support for abortion rights has declined across the political spectrum.

Republicans identifying as “pro-life” increased this year from 68 percent last May to 72 percent this year.

Last year 68 percent of Democrats identified as pro-choice, but the number fell to 58 percent this year.

Predictably, political independents are the most closely divided on the issue. This year, pro-life independents outnumber pro-choice independents 47 percent to 41 percent — representing a significant shift from last year’s 51 percent pro-choice to 41 percent pro-life breakdown.

Gallup adds that it is unclear if the recent shift in opinion is related to current events such as the effort to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the dispute over mandated contraceptive coverage on employer health insurance plans, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure kerfuffle with Planned Parenthood.

*an earlier version incorrectly identified this year’s percentage of self-identified pro-lifers by a point.

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