By Aaron Earls
As abortion has taken center stage in the runup to the 2020 Democratic primary, half of Americans believe abortion is immoral.
Last week, former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his position for the Hyde Amendment, which prevents government healthcare programs from paying for abortions, and announced his opposition to the restrictions that have been included in annual appropriations bills since 1976.
Yet, in Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, more Americans say abortion is immoral than believe it to be moral.
Half (50%) of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong, while 42% say it is morally acceptable. Those percentages have remained fairly stable since Gallup first began asking the question in 2001.
Women (52%) are just as likely to say abortion is wrong, if not more so, than men (49%). More non-white Americans (57%) see it as immoral compared to white Americans (47%).
While Republicans (71%) are most likely to believe abortion is morally wrong, half of independents (49%) and a significant number of Democrats (30%) agree.
Other issues have more consensus among Americans in regard to their moral status.
Significant majorities view some issues as morally acceptable: birth control (92%), drinking alcohol (79%), divorce (77%), sex between an unmarried man and woman (71%), gambling (68%), smoking marijuana (65%), embryonic stem cell research (64%), having a baby outside of marriage (64%), gay or lesbian relations (63%), and the death penalty (60%).
Other issues are viewed as morally wrong by overwhelming majorities: married men and women having an affair (89%), cloning humans (85%), polygamy (80%), suicide (79%), cloning animals (66%), and pornography (61%).
Some issues are more divided like abortion. A small majority believe sex between teenagers is morally wrong (58%), while slightly less than half say the same about buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur (45%), doctor-assisted suicide (44%), and medical testing on animals (44%).
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor for Facts & Trends.