A Woman's Issue? Gallup Polling Shows Women's Views Largely Align With Men's on Abortion

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 10:40 AM

In the latest in their new series of polling on abortion attitudes in the United States, Gallup found that women’s views on the issue of abortion are not substantially different than men’s views.

A Gallup analysis of men’s and women’s views on the legality of abortion with data going back to the 1970s shows that the difference in these views has always been “relatively narrow.”

“Since 1990,” Gallup notes, “the average gender difference in the view that abortion should be legal in all circumstances is four percentage points, with women more likely than men to hold that attitude. For the past four years, an average of 31% of women and 26% of men have held this view.”

Prior to 1990, the difference is even smaller with 22 percent of women and 21 percent of men believing abortion should be legal under all circumstances in 1979.

Gallup adds that “gender differences in the view that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances are even smaller, with an average gap of two points since 1990. For the past four years, there has been no difference, with 19% of both men and women saying that abortion should be totally illegal.”

Additionally, there is only a narrow gap between men and women in choosing to call themselves “pro-life” or pro-choice.”

Since 2010, the gap has been between three and four points, with 47 percent of men and 44 percent of women choosing the pro-life descriptor most recently in 2018.There is a similar gap in those choosing the “pro-choice” label with 50 percent of women and 46 percent of men describing themselves that way.

Gallup concludes that “women are slightly more likely to favor abortion being completely legal and slightly more likely to personally identify as pro-choice than men are, but these differences are quite small -- as has generally been the case for decades.”