Support for legal abortion at highest level in 2 years

U.S. Abortion Rate Hits Lowest Point Since 1973


WASHINGTON (AP) — Support for legal abortion in the U.S. has edged up to its highest level in the past two years, with an Associated Press-GfK poll showing an apparent increase in support among Democrats and Republicans alike over the last year.

Nearly six in 10 Americans — 58 percent — now think abortion should be legal in most or all cases, up from 51 percent who said so at the beginning of the year, according to the AP-GfK survey. It was conducted after three people were killed last month in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.

More on the victims of the Planned Parenthood attack:

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Colorado mourns Planned Parenthood shooting victims, officer Garrett Swasey
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Support for legal abortion at highest level in 2 years
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 29: Tracy Gilliland cries while watching old video of Officer Garrett Swasey ice skating when he was younger at Hope Chapel on November 29, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Officer Garrett Swasey, who was killed in Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood, was a church elder with the congregation and a large part of the community at the church. (Photo by Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 29: Churchgoers sing at the beginning of service at Hope Chapel on November 29, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Officer Garrett Swasey, who was killed in Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood, was a church elder with the congregation and a large part of the community at the church. (Photo by Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 29: Hands wave in the air while churchgoers sing at Hope Chapel on November 29, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Officer Garrett Swasey, who was killed in Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood, was a church elder with the congregation and a large part of the community at the church. (Photo by Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 29: Sarah Donteville hugs Kaitlin Churchill after service at Hope Chapel on November 29, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Officer Garrett Swasey, who was killed in Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood, was a church elder with the congregation and a large part of the community at the church. (Photo by Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 29: Cambria Hooks starts laughing while crying after the congregation made jokes about Officer Garrett Swasey's ice skating at Hope Chapel on November 29, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Officer Garrett Swasey, who was killed in Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood, was a church elder with the congregation and a large part of the community at the church. (Photo by Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Colorado Springs, CO - NOV, 28: Officers stand on the court during a moment of silence and then the national anthem for Garrett Swasey before the start of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs basketball game on the campus in in Colorado Springs, CO on Saturday, November 28, 2015. (Photo by Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs held a candlelight vigil at the Gallogly Events Center November 28, 2015 for UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed along with two others at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic November 27, 2015. Several others were injured including five law enforcement officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: A moment of prayer during a vigil at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church November 28, 2015. More than one hundred people gathered in the church to remember fallen officer Garrett Swasey and two others who were killed as well as those injured. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs student Tori Lord during a candlelight vigil at the Gallogly Events Center November 28, 2015 for UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed along with two others at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic November 27, 2015. Several others were injured including five law enforcement officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs held a candlelight vigil at the Gallogly Events Center November 28, 2015 for UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed along with two others at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic November 27, 2015. Several others were injured including five law enforcement officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: Hundreds gather around the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lion statue during a candlelight vigil at the Gallogly Events Center November 28, 2015 for UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed along with two others at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic November 27, 2015. Several others were injured including five law enforcement officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: University of Colorado Colorado Springs student Isaac Brumm during a candlelight vigil out in front of the the Gallogly Events Center November 28, 2015 for UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed along with two others at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic November 27, 2015. Several others were injured including five law enforcement officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: Show of support during a vigil at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs vigil inside the Gallogly Events Center November 28, 2015 for UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed along with two others at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic November 27, 2015. Several others were injured including five law enforcement officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs held a candlelight vigil at the Gallogly Events Center November 28, 2015 for UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed along with two others at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic November 27, 2015. Several others were injured including five law enforcement officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: Mary Hueske working as a floater for Colorado Planned Parenthood writes a letter to the families of those killed in Friday's shooting before a vigil at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church November 28, 2015. More than one hundred people gathered in the church to remember fallen officer Garrett Swasey and two others who were killed as well as those injured. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS,CO - November 28: A sign on a window at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Public Safety office on campus November 28, 2015 to honor of fallen police officer Garrett Swasey who was shot and killed during a shooting rampage at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic Friday November 27, 2015. Two other people were shot and killed and several others were injured including several Colorado Springs police officers. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 28: Roy Kieffer prays after laying flowers at a memorial at Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard on November 28, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Life in Colorado Springs attempts to go back to normal after the shooting that killed three people including one police officer that ended at a Planned Parenthood. Stores in the strip mall across from the Planned Parenthood have begun to reopen. (Photo by Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 28: Flowers are laid on the corner as a memorial at Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard on November 28, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Life in Colorado Springs attempts to go back to normal after the shooting that killed three people including one police officer that ended at a Planned Parenthood. Stores in the strip mall across from the Planned Parenthood have begun to reopen. (Photo by Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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While support for legal abortion edged up to 40 percent among Republicans in this month's poll, from 35 percent in January, the survey found that the GOP remains deeply divided on the issue: Seven in 10 conservative Republicans said they want abortion to be illegal in most or all cases; six in 10 moderate and liberal Republicans said the opposite.

SEE MORE: 3 killed, 9 injured in attack on Colorado abortion clinic

Count 55-year-old Victor Remdt, of Gurnee, Illinois, among the conservatives who think abortion should be illegal in most cases. He's adopted, and says he "wouldn't be here talking" if his birth mother had opted for abortion rather than adoption. Remdt, who's looking for work as a commercial driver, said he'd like to see abortion laws become more restrictive but adds that he's not a one-issue voter on the matter.

John Burk, a conservative Republican from Houston, Texas, is among those whose position on abortion is somewhere in the middle. He reasons that banning the procedure would only lead to "back-alley abortions." But he's open to restrictions such as parental notification requirements and a ban on late-term abortions.

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