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Views on abortion in US: regional differences grow wider (+video)

Opposition to abortion in the South has grown markedly in the past 20 years even as other parts of the nation – such as New England – have seen support rise, reflecting political polarization.

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The most liberal region on abortion is New England, where 75 percent of adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 20 percent say it should be illegal. In the Pacific Coast region (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington), 65 percent favor legal abortion. In the mid-Atlantic (District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), the figure is 61 percent. In the Mountain West (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming), it’s 59 percent.

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A national Pew survey conducted July 17-21 found that 54 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 40 percent say it should be illegal in all or most cases. In 1995-96, the figures were 60 percent favoring legal abortion and 38 percent opposing abortion all or most of the time. 

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