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October 1, 2009

Study: Support for Abortion Dips

A new survey suggests that fewer Americans support abortion than in recent years, and the country appears evenly divided on the issue.

The survey (pdf) found that 47 percent say abortion should be legal in all or most cases and 44 percent believe it should be illegal all or most of the time. Surveys in previous years showed that 54 percent of Americans supported legal abortion while 40 percent thought abortion should be illegal.

68 percent of white evangelical Protestants who attend church on a weekly basis cited religious beliefs as the main influence on their opinions about abortion. For those who support legalized abortion, 11 percent cited religious as the primary influence for their stance while 53 percent of Americans who say abortion cited religion.

Other findings include:
--An increase in Americans favor reducing abortion, from 59 percent in 2005 to 65 percent this year.

--The abortion debate has declined in importance for liberals while opposing abortion has grown more important for conservatives.

--One of the largest declines in support for abortion were among Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly.

--Support for abortion went down nine points among Democratic men but did not change among Democratic women.

--About three-in-ten Americans think that President Obama will handle the abortion issue well, while four-in-ten are unaware of his position. About two-in-ten are concerned that Obama will go too far in supporting legalized abortion.

The survey of 4,013 adults was conducted from August 11-27 by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.


Other findings specifically about white evangelicals include:
--83 percent of them express support for parental consent laws.

--35 percent of weekly churchgoing evangelicals see the abortion issue critically important.

--52 percent of pro-choice evangelical Protestants express respect for the opposing view, compared with 32 percent of pro-life evangelicals who express the same respect.

--59 percent of weekly churchgoing evangelicals say there is no room for compromise on abortion (49 percent of white evangelicals overall).

--Evangelicals are skeptical of President Obama's desire to reduce the number of abortions (29 percent say he holds this view while 47 percent of religiously unaffiliated believe the same thing).

-- Four-in-ten evangelicals say that Obama will overreach on abortion rights, while just 19 percent of Catholics and 14 percent of white mainline Protestants said the same thing.


I think that church abdicates certain responsibilites/callings to government. Feeding the hungry, visiting the prison, and advocating for the disenfranchised, be they Jews in 1930s Europe (current day Israel), slaves, women, and the unborn.

We should rise up, and do more to see that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I'm glad Obama, along with 2/3 of Estadosunidenses (Americans), says he wants to reduce abortions. I just wish he would do it.

Interesting study to say the least. So 59% say there's no room for compromise. I wonder on what other issues is there room for compromise... just curious...

There won't be any reduction. It's just lip service everyone pays

Ronald Reagen paid lip-service to the evangelical right/moral majority antiabortion concerns, yet he did nothing to stem the abortions in our country. (Really, what could he have done?) Every republican politician does the same. And so do the dems. ("Isn't that special. Pres. Obama wants to reduce the number of abortions.") Pres. George "Dubya" Bush at least was honest when he said that there was no overwhelming public support for making abortion illegal. He was right. There wasn't then, and there isn't now. "Who knows when a fetus becomes a person," and "It's the woman's RIGHT to have control over her own body" say the proaborts to justify killing the baby. Imagine, there is a right to dismember a baby. To treat a little one as so much medical waste. What a macabre right! This poll like others are, in my opinion, irrelevent.

People who think Republicans are the same as Democrats on the abortion issue--that they only talk differently--display their ignorance. Reagan nominated Scalia and elevated Rehnquist. He tried to get Bork on, but failed. He had to go with Kennedy, who was a cipher, and we lost. In recent years, Clinton nominated 2 out of 2 pro-abortionists, and Bush gave us two who appear to be against Roe v Wade. (It is not necessary for a Justice personally to want most abortions illegal, they only need to oppose Roe and let States pass pro life laws.)

But did Reagen/Bush - in their official capacity as President with the bully pulpit at their disposal - change the culture of abortion in our country? I say, "No!" But they certainly used the evangelical right to achieve their party's political goals. And stopping abortion has never been a major objective of the Repubs. (I say this as someone who has never knowingly voted for a democrat - and never will until they change their party's platform.) Only Dubya can claim to really have caused change - so I must revise my statement above. He did through executive order stop for awhile late term abortions. But if we had 4000 babies dying per day of swine flu - like we do with abortion, you can just bet we'd marshall all of our resources to stop the dying - as we should.

To be a provocateur:
Abortion is nowhere directly opposed in the Bible, not even close.
The only place the Bible mentions punishment for killing a pre-born is Exodus 21:22-25 (some versions wrongly translate it as giving birth prematurely). This passage describes the pre-born as worth less than a born human by making the penalty of killing the pre-born less than murder. From this biblical reasoning Israel supports legal abortions.
Does the Bible ever value the pre-born as equal to the born? Ps. 139, for example, is cited as being anti-abortion. But it merely describes God's handiwork in a remarkable natural activity (fetal growth) and doesn't come close to addressing the relative worth of a pre-born to a born human, much less the morality of abortion.
In short, it looks like the pro-life position is more from the idea of human rights beginning with conception than from the Bible. Not to say that it's wrong, but it's not exactly from the Bible.

Brendan - And yet there is a penalty for killing a preborn. Doesn't sound like God condoned it at any rate. Then look at Ps. 139 again. "16Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them." Sounds like God likes little children. Not a stretch to think He wouldn't like them sliced and diced and suctioned into the medical waste. As well, the bible doesn't say we shouldn't watch certain movies either. But the biblical principle in Phil. 4:8 gives us direction here. Funny, people will try their level best to find loopholes around obedience to the Lord rather than opportunities to obey Him. Well, we certainly don't want to be fanatics, do we? Nope. We should be wild-eyed fanatics.

I'm always interested to hear when people talk about obedience to the Lord.

sigggggghhhhhhh if only we could be obedient to the Lord in everyting rather than only what's convenient for us

Remember the words of Jesus in the Garden of G.
"But God, I don't wanna go to the cross. It's too hard. And that cross is too heavy. And it'll hurt too much to hang on it. And since nobody likes me anyway, why do I hafta go! waaaaaa!"

Is that what Jesus really said in the Garden of G

Now if those conservapedea folks get a hold of you... methinks they would tar and feather you

I might look good in feathers, but I hope the tar is optional.