In an unusual flip on centuries of church tradition, the majority of Catholics agree with abortion in most cases, according to a poll conducted by Pew Research Center. The survey, titled "8 Key Findings about Catholics and Abortion," found that 56% of Catholics support abortion in most cases. Additionally, according to the survey, a good 1 in 5 Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
The Pew Research Center explains "although most Catholics generally approve of legalized abortion, the vast majority favor at least some restrictions. For example, while roughly one-third of Catholics (35%) said abortion should be legal in most cases, only around one-fifth (21%) said it should be legal in all cases. By the same token, 28% of Catholics said abortion should be illegal in most cases, while half as many (14%) said it should be illegal in all cases."
Of Catholics who regularly attend mass, 2 in 3 think abortion should be illegal. However, Pew Research writes "The ratio is almost exactly reversed for those who attend less frequently," further explaining that roughly 2 in 3 Catholics who do not attend mass regularly think abortion should be legal in most or all cases. This is likely because they heard a sermon in mass opposing abortion, as Pew Research noted that 44% of Catholic churchgoers heard a sermon that opposed abortion in the month before the survey was taken. This was higher than Protestants' response, where only 35% expressed they heard a sermon expressing opposition to abortion.
However, among Protestants, 55% believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases while 43% believe it should be legal in all or most cases. However, within Protestantism, abortion is a highly contested topic. White Evangelical Protestants largely believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. But non-white Evangelical Protestants and African American protestants think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.