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Pew: Abortion divide widens along geographic lines

Published: Tuesday, July 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Anti-abortion protesters gather outside the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Ill.

The Telegraph, John Badman, Associated Press

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The Pew Research Center released polling Monday showing that 54 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal in most or all cases — the same ratio as six years ago.

However, even though that unchanging national figure indicates a degree of constancy through the years, some regions have actually vacillated quite a bit over the abortion debate.

“Opposition to legal abortion is highest in parts of the South — including Texas, which recently passed sweeping new abortion restrictions,” wrote co-authors Michael Dimock, Carroll Doherty and Rob Suls. “The South Central region (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Lousisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas) is the only one in which opposition to legal abortion has significantly increased since the mid-1990s. By contrast, support for legal abortion remains highest in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) — and the gap between New England and South Central states has widened considerably over the past two decades.”

For example, in 1996 no fewer than 52 percent of the people in the South Central region believed abortion should be legal in most or all cases — yet today that number is down to 40 percent.

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com

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