NRL News

The Public’s view on the morally acceptability of abortion

by | Oct 14, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Back in mid-August we wrote about a Pew Research poll on the moral acceptability of abortion (and other issues): “Pew Research finds 49% say abortion morally wrong to only 15% who say it is morally acceptable.”

Last week Lauren Enriquez revisited the study, conducted March 21 to April 8, 2013, which prompts me to briefly add to what was said and/or add additional emphasis. (Thanks, Lauren).

#1. This is basic but so important, which I tried to capture in my headline: only 15% thought having an abortion was morally acceptable. Almost exactly half (49%) thought it wasn’t. Put another way 3 1/3rd more people thought abortion was not morally acceptable than those who thought it was morally acceptable.

#2. Again, nothing new, but very important to emphasize. The far greater pro-life response came from those who attended church regularly. “Those who attend religious services at least once a week are much more inclined to say that having an abortion is morally wrong than those who seldom or never attend (70% vs. 32%),” Pew concluded. “This pattern holds for nearly all major religious groups.” (The only two groups that did not say abortion is morally wrong are White mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, who, for some reason, are categorized as a religious group.)

Speaking of which…

#3. The chart below shows the results by religion. I talked about the attendance figure first to emphasize how important that variable is. For example, as Lauren noted, “About three-quarters (74%) of white Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week consider having an abortion morally wrong, compared with four-in-ten white Catholics (40%) who attend services less often.”


Categories: Abortion