A new annual Gallup poll has found a majority of Americans — 58 percent — are unhappy with the country’s laws on abortion.
The upward tick is mostly due to Democrats, 31 percent of whom have said they would like to see less strict laws against abortion. Under the last Republican president, George W. Bush, only 14 percent of Democrats said the same.
A roughly equal number of dissatisfied Americans want abortion laws to be stricter (24 percent) and less strict (22 percent). Only 32 percent of respondents are satisfied with the nation’s abortion laws as they are.
Gallup has been tracking this issue since 2001, and over time, the majority of Americans dissatisfied with the country’s abortion laws have wanted stricter restrictions on the procedure.
Today, 42 percent of Republicans are dissatisfied with abortion laws on the books and would like them to be stricter. By contrast, only 7 percent of Democrats said the same. Thirty-one percent of Protestant Christians are dissatisfied and desire stricter restrictions on abortion, whereas 25 percent of Catholics favor tighter laws. Only 11 percent of atheists and agnostics favor stricter abortion laws.
Some of the shift has been attributed, according to Gallup, to the 63 new abortion restrictions passed in right-leaning states across the U.S. in 2017. In addition, President Donald Trump’s robust opposition to abortion as well as his stalwart endorsement of pro-life bills has buttressed Democrats’ support of abortion access.
In December, a Gallup survey found both liberal and conservative voters are likely to consider abortion laws “extremely important” to their vote in November.
The new data about Americans’ dissatisfaction with abortion laws comes the same week new research out of the U.K. has indicated unborn babies feel something akin to pain as early as 13 weeks into development.
British professor Stuart Derbyshire, who has consulted over the years with the United States’ largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, argued not allowing his study’s findings to impact the way the issue of abortion is discussed “flirts with moral recklessness.”
After learning about Derbyshire’s research, Lila Rose, a pro-life advocate and founder of the anti-abortion group Live Action, said it’s “time to completely eradicate” abortion in the U.S.