Magazine article Conscience

Surveys Show Most US Catholics Support Access to Abortion

Magazine article Conscience

Surveys Show Most US Catholics Support Access to Abortion

Article excerpt

WHEN THE UNITED STATES Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) did a poll on the opinion of US adults on abortion, they sought to hide the results by releasing them on December 30th when few journalists were paying attention. The results, which the bishops have failed to make available in full, show that a mere 11% of the nation's adults support a complete ban on abortion. This figure is one of the lowest found in a large-scale poll in recent years.

Similarly notable, a Gallup poll found that Catholic opinion is nearly identical to non-Catholic opinion on abortion. In this poll, 40% of Catholics found abortion to be morally acceptable compared to 41% of non-Catholics. Broken down even more, the poll found that 24% of Catholics who regularly attend church and 52% of irregular churchgoers find abortion morally acceptable. These numbers show that by and large US Catholics do not share the values of the church hierarchy on abortion.

The Gallup poll also determined that Catholic sentiment is either equivalent or more liberal to that of non-Catholics on nine issues, ranging from abortion to stem-cell research. (See chart above.)

Moral Acceptability of Issues, by Church Affiliation and Attendance
% Morally acceptable

                           Catholics:   Catholics:   Non-Catholics:
                            Regular     Nonregular      Regular
                             church       church         church
                           attendance   attendance     attendance

Abortion                      24%          52%            19%
The death penalty             52%          67%            66%
Sex between an unmarried
man and woman                 53%          77%            30%
Divorce                       63%          77%            46%
Medical research using
stem cells obtained from
human embryos                 53%          70%            45%
Having a baby
outside of marriage           48%          70%            29%
Gambling                      67%          75%            40%
Homosexual relations          44%          61%            21%

                           Non-Catholics:
                             Nonregular
                               church
                             attendance

Abortion                        56%
The death penalty               69%
Sex between an unmarried
man and woman                   75%
Divorce                         79%
Medical research using
stem cells obtained from
human embryos                   73%
Having a baby
outside of marriage             67%
Gambling                        72%
Homosexual relations            61%

Source: 2006-2008 Gallup Values and Beliefs polls
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.