Majority backs abortion rights

ONLY one in five Americans wants abortion outlawed, according to a CBS poll released Sunday that found US attitudes on abortion little changed in the last five years.

The poll, released on the 22nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, found 38 percent of Americans believe abortion should be generally available compared with 39 percent who had that response in a poll five years ago.

Thirty-seven percent now say abortion should be available but with stricter limits, compared with 40 percent five years ago; and 23 percent said abortion should not be permitted at all, compared with 18 percent five years ago.

Fifty-five percent of those polled said the drug RU-486, which induces spontaneous abortion early in pregnancy, should be available as an alternative to surgical abortion.

The survey of 4,943 adults contacted by telephone Jan. 10-20 found conflicting views among those polled. Despite a majority that believe abortion should be available, 46 percent said abortion is the same as murder. Forty-one percent said they did not think it is murder. Prison violence on the rise

VIOLENCE increased sharply at high-security federal prisons last year, a trend prison officials blame on overcrowding, harsher sentencing, and a tougher class of inmate.

Prison guards, those most at risk other than inmates themselves, also cite budget cuts they say have left prisons dangerously understaffed.

``Nobody is listening to us,'' said Donald Tucker, of the council of prison locals of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents over half the federal prison guards.

``Congress is not listening, the Senate is not listening, [Attorney General] Janet Reno is not listening,'' he said. ``Nobody wants to hear the truth; and the truth is, we need more staff.''

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