Birth Control, Physician-Assisted Suicide, Death Penalty, Animal Testing, & Abortion “Morally Acceptable” to over 50% of Americans

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Nick Youngson, “Moral,” (accessed July 5, 2022) Creative Commons license

More than half of Americans found the following issues covered by morally acceptable, according to a June 9, 2022 Gallup poll:

There remains, however, a significant partisan divide among most of the issues. 77% of liberals believed physician-assisted suicide to be morally acceptable, while only 37% of conservatives held the same view. 67% of conservatives thought the death penalty was morally acceptable, while only 40% of liberals believed the same. And, abortion was morally acceptable to 86% of liberals, but to only 25% of conservatives.

Some consensus was found on birth control, about which 98% of liberals and 88% of conservatives agreed on moral acceptability, and medical animal testing, about which 55% of conservatives and 47% agreed on moral acceptability.

Gallup found that most behaviors in the poll have trended toward more permissive attitudes over the years, with the exception of medical animal testing and the death penalty, which have trended toward “morally wrong” since 2001.

Discussion Questions

1. Weigh in on Gallup’s poll. Which of the behaviors do you find morally acceptable (or morally wrong), and why?

2. Should Americans’ views on morality be considered when making laws? Why or why not?

3. Consider other topics. Which do you find to be morally acceptable? Which are morally wrong? Why?


Megan Brenan, “Americans Say Birth Control, Divorce Most ‘Morally Acceptable’,”, June 9, 2022