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

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In that region, 40 percent of adults surveyed in 2012 and 2013 said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, versus 52 percent who said it should be illegal in all or most cases. In 1995 and 1996, 52 percent of Southerners supported abortion rights in all or most cases and 45 percent said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Exactly why that shift has occurred is open to conjecture. Some analysts point to technology, such as growing use of sonograms early in pregnancy, as one explanation. The South has long been known for its high levels of religiosity, particularly evangelical Christianity.

The growing polarization of views on abortion also reflects the polarization of politics in the US between red and blue states, and in Congress.

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