Pew Poll Shows Support for Legal Abortion Has Dropped

A new survey shows that abortion rights supporters no longer have an edge over abortion foes.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

There's an important new Pew survey out today showing abortion rights supporters no longer enjoy the edge over abortion foes that they had as recently as last year. I've got a whole column on the survey and its implications for the Obama administration and the Democrats in today's U.S. News Weekly.

For now, here are some of the major bullet points from Pew:

— In Pew Research Center polls in 2007 and 2008, supporters of legal abortion clearly outnumbered opponents; now Americans are evenly divided on the question,

— The shift in opinion is broad-based, appearing in most demographic groups in the population.

— Among Republicans, there has been a seven point decline in support for legal abortion and a corresponding six point increase in opposition to abortion.

— Fewer people say abortion is a critical issue today (15%) compared with 2006, when 28% described abortion as a critical issue facing the country.

— There has been a 26-point drop since 2006 in the proportion of liberal Democrats who say abortion is a critical issue, from 34% to 8%.

Read the full survey here.