For the first time since Gallup began asking Americans if they describe themselves as “pro-choice” or “pro-life” with respect to the abortion issue, there were more “pro-life” responses than “pro-choice.” The polling organization began asking the question in 1995, at which point the “pro-life” camp was only 33 percent, compared to the “pro-choice” respondents at 56 percent. The new poll resulted in 51 percent “pro-life” and 42 percent “pro-choice.”
Interestingly, Gallup concludes that:
With the first pro-choice president in eight years already making changes to the nation’s policies on funding abortion overseas, expressing his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, and moving toward rescinding federal job protections for medical workers who refuse to participate in abortion procedures, Americans — and, in particular, Republicans — seem to be taking a step back from the pro-choice position. However, the retreat is evident among political moderates as well as conservatives.
It is possible that, through his abortion policies, Obama has pushed the public’s understanding of what it means to be “pro-choice” slightly to the left, politically. While Democrats may support that, as they generally support everything Obama is doing as president, it may be driving others in the opposite direction.