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Poll: Abortion Opinions Remain Stable


WASHINGTON -- For the first time since the court established a woman's right to an abortion in 1973, the Supreme Court upheld Monday a nationwide ban on a specific abortion method labeled partial-birth abortion by its opponents.

Although most Americans favor some restrictions on abortion, an AP-Ipsos poll released from early March 2006 found 52 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal in most or all cases. Just 19 percent said abortion should be legal in all cases. By contrast, 43 percent said it should be illegal in most or all cases.

The high court's ruling found that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 did not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

An ABC News poll in July 2003 showed 62 percent of Americans believing that the kinds of abortion ruled on Wednesday should be illegal. A March 2006 poll from Fox News and the Quinnipiac University returned similar results. But just 33 percent of respondents in the ABC poll thought the procedure should be banned even if it were needed to prevent serious health problems for the woman.

In general, American public opinion on abortion has remained relatively stable for the past decade.

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