Current views on the legality of abortion, based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 2-7, are nearly identical to those from Gallup’s prior measures in December and May 2012. More generally, they are similar to what Gallup has found for most of the past decade, except for a brief period between 2005 and 2006, when the balance of the two absolutist positions tilted more heavily in favor of abortion being legal in all circumstances.
Gallup poses a follow-up question of respondents who opt for the middle position — those saying abortion should be “legal only under certain circumstances” — asking if it should be legal in most or in only a few circumstances. The responses break nearly 3-1 in favor of the more restrictive policy.
The resulting distribution of views shows 26% of Americans favoring legalized abortion under any circumstances, 13% favoring legality under most circumstances, 38% favoring it in only in a few circumstances, and 20% saying it should be illegal in all circumstances.