WASHINGTON (BP) -- Americans who consider themselves pro-choice on abortion are at a record low, according to a new Gallup public opinion poll.
Forty-one percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-choice -- marking a drop of 6 percent since July and the lowest percentage since Gallup began asking the public in 1995 to self-identify as pro-choice or pro-life. The Gallup organization reported the dramatic downturn for pro-choice advocates Wednesday (May 23).
The same survey showed 50 percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-life, one point less than the record high, which was set in May 2009. The previous low of 42 percent for pro-choicers also came in the 2009 poll.
Pro-life leaders expressed no amazement at the trend -- which was demonstrated among Republicans, Democrats and independents.
"This is not just an American phenomenon," said C. Ben Mitchell, professor of moral philosophy at Union University in Tennessee. "Now that imaging technologies offer us a clearer picture of what's happening in the womb, it is increasingly difficult to dehumanize the unborn person in a mother's body.
"Even in our fallen, fragile world, human life in all its stages gives testimony to the image of God," said Mitchell, a longtime consultant with Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life organization, said in a written statement, "It comes as no surprise that more Americans are shedding the 'pro-choice' label as they come to terms with what is really meant by this hollow branding.
"The big [lie that] 'abortion liberates' … and those who promulgate it are becoming unmasked," Dannenfelser said.
In the breakdown by political identification, the poll showed:
-- Independents identifying as pro-choice dropped since May 2011 from 51 to 41 percent, while those labeling themselves as pro-life increased from 41 to 47 percent.
-- Republicans pro-choicers fell in the last year from 28 to 22 percent, while pro-lifers grew from 68 to 72 percent. Read More