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Majority in US defends first-trimester abortion, poll finds

A vast majority of Americans believe that abortions should be legal in general during the first three months of pregnancy, but that they should be illegal in the second and third trimesters, according to a new survey.

Miami World – AP

According to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 61% of respondents say abortion should be legal in almost all or all circumstances during the first trimester of pregnancy, but 65% said be illegal in the second quarter and 80% said it should be in the third and last.

Still, according to the survey, many believe it should be allowed in at least some circumstances during the second and even the third trimester. Regarding abortions during the second trimester, 34% say that in general or always they should be legal and another 30% say that they should be illegal in most, but not all cases. In the third trimester, 19% think that almost all or all abortions should be legal and another 26% say that they should be illegal in most cases.

Most of those consulted – whether Democrats or Republicans – believe that a pregnant woman should be able to obtain a legal abortion if her life is in danger, if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if she believes that the child will be born with a fatal disease.

Americans are almost halved on whether a pregnant woman should be able to access legal abortion for whatever reason she wants: 49% say yes, 50% no.

Abortions after the first trimester are not unusual, but they are rare. According to the most recent report on abortion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 92% of abortions in 2018 were performed during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

The poll also reveals that views on abortion closely follow partisan ideologies. Three out of four Democrats believe that abortion should be legal in all or almost all cases. Two out of three Republicans think it must be illegal in all or almost all cases

At the same time, almost all Americans reject the views of both extremes. Only 23% say it must be legal in all cases, while 33% say it must be legal in most cases. 30% say it should be illegal in most cases, only 13% say it should be illegal in all cases.

Respondents from three major religious groups – White Protestants, Non-White Protestants, and Catholics – are divided in half on whether it should be legal or illegal in most cases. As for white evangelicals, three out of four say abortion must be illegal in all cases.

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