WASHINGTON D.C. (Christian Examiner) – Thousands gathered yesterday at the National Mall to participate in the March for Life marking the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion..
The March for Life has taken place every year on the anniversary of the date – Jan. 22 – in 1973 when the Court announced its 7-2 decision in Roe v. Wade.
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted -- largely along party lines -- to forbid federal funds for most abortion coverage by making the Hyde Amendment permanent. Another proposal to outlaw most late-term abortions was withdrawn yesterday and replaced with this one, which President Obama has said he will veto.
Consequently, the vote likely will have little lasting effect, but it did provide a political moment to embolden supporters.
The Pew Research Center published on Jan. 21 findings from a recent study about the abortion issue.
"The debate over the [abortion] issue continues even as public opinion has held relatively steady," wrote Michael Lipka in a Pew press release.
Sixty-three percent of U.S. adults surveyed in 2013 said they would not like the Supreme Court's decision regarding abortion to be completely overturned. Overall, 51 percent said abortion should be legal in most cases; 43 said it should be illegal all or most of the time.
"In both cases, these figures have remained relatively stable for more than 20 years," Lipka wrote.
Pew examined the results by eight regions, noting that only 18 percentage points in 1995-96 separated the region most approving of abortion from the region that was least approving. Now, however, that gap has widened to 35 points with 75 percent in New England states approving of abortion, and only 40 percent in South Central states agreeing.
According to the findings there is a generation gap as well.
Sixty-two percent of Americans aged 18-29 say abortion is "not that important" an issue, compared to 53 percent of adults, overall.
However, there is a difference between what Americans think should be legal, and what they think is moral.
About half – 49 percent – of Americans think abortion is morally wrong, while 15 percent think it is morally acceptable. Another 23 percent say it is not a moral issue.
Religion also highlights differences.
Among white evangelical Protestants, 75 percent say having an abortion is morally wrong. Only 25 percent of religiously unaffiliated people say so.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that is pro-abortion, 15 states enacted 26 new abortion restrictions in 2014. In the years from 2011 through 2014, 231 abortion restrictions were enacted, but in the years 2001-2010, there were 189 that became law.