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Survey weighs opinion on abortion issues

Only about 1 percent of Minnesotans think that abortion is the single most important problem facing the state year after year, according to a statewide St. Cloud State University Survey released Friday.

However, past surveys have found that as a voting decision issue it is more important to some, particularly to those who are opposed to abortion and are more politically active on the issue.

The SCSU Survey is an ongoing survey research center of St. Cloud State University. A total of 550 randomly chosen adult Minnesotans were interviewed between October 26 and November 4 and shared their views on a variety of topics, including abortion.

According to the survey, almost half of Minnesotans continue to believe abortion should be a women's personal choice (46 percent) while about 10 percent thinks it should never be allowed.

Male and female views on abortion are almost identical on the never position but women are a bit more likely to favor the personal choice position.

The survey also showed that 70 percent who say their political views are very or somewhat liberal support personal choice while 21 percent self-described conservatives take this position. No liberal said never but about 20 percent who said they were very or somewhat conservative would never allow an abortion.

Other results from the survey:

--64 percent of Democrats say abortion should be a personal choice compared to 20 percent of Republicans. A total of 17 percent of Republicans stated that it should never be allowed compared to roughly 3 percent of Democrats.

--About 60 percent of 18-24 year olds prefer the personal choice position.

--Other than suburban residents being less likely to support the personal choice position, there aren't real differences by geographic location.

--Breakdowns of some of the religious categories indicate 12 percent of Catholics say never, 3 percent of Lutherans, 15 percent of Baptists and 2 percent of those with no religious denomination want the never allow option.

--For Minnesotans who say religion is very or somewhat important in their lives, 10 percent say never and about 40 percent favor personal choice. Respondents who stated religion was of little or no importance in their personal life 6 percent said never and 70 percent state personal choice.

--A total of 63 percent of Minnesotans believe that Roe v. Wade shouldn't be overturned.

More than 80 percent of 18-24 year-olds favor not overturning Roe v Wade.

The SCSU Surveys are conducted once a year in the fall and focus on statewide issues such as election races, current events, and other important issues that are present in the state of Minnesota.

The stated mission of the SCSU Survey is to serve the academic community and various clients through its commitment to survey research and to provide education and experiential opportunities to researchers and students.

Results from surveys pertaining to views on immigration, same sex marriage, the impact of the economy, healthcare and other topics will be released at a later date.