Today, the Public Religion Research Institute released a report titled, What the Millennial Generation Tells Us about the Future of the Abortion Debate and the Culture Wars. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but here are a few highlights from their executive summary:
- A solid majority of Americans say abortion should be legal in all (19%) or most (37%) cases, compared to 4-in-10 who say it should be illegal in all (14%) or most (26%) cases.
- Nearly 6-in-10 (58%) Americans say that at least some health care professionals in their communities should provide legal abortions.
- The binary “pro-choice”/“pro-life” labels do not reflect the complexity of Americans’ views on abortion.
- The decoupling of attitudes on abortion and same-sex marriage suggests that these topics, which served in the past as the heart of the “values” agenda, are no longer necessarily linked in the minds of Americans.
- Millennials are less supportive of legal abortion than their demographic profile would suggest.
- On the issue of abortion, Americans hold complex and sometimes contradictory views, and grasping this complexity is critical for understanding the dynamics of the debate.
- Among Americans who attend church at least once or twice a month, majorities report hearing their clergy talk about the issue of abortion (54%) or homosexuality (51%) in church.
- More than 7-in-10 (72%) religious Americans believe it is possible to disagree with the teachings of their religion on the issue of abortion and still be considered a person of good standing in their faith.