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News / Churches & Religion

Majority of Catholics support abortion rights, says new study

Poll: Nearly 60 percent of U.S. Catholics believe abortion should be legal

By Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News
Published: April 12, 2024, 3:53pm

Nearly 60 percent of U.S. Catholics believe abortion should be legal, according to a new poll.

That includes 39 percent of Catholics who believe abortion is a right in most cases and more than 20 percent who regard terminating a pregnancy to be an entitlement in every case.

According to the Pew Research Center, only 11 percent of Catholics in the U.S. feel all abortions should be against the law.

Abortion will be on the ballot in November when voters will likely choose between President Joe Biden — a pro-abortion rights Catholic — and former president Donald Trump, who put three anti-abortion Justices on the Supreme Court when he was in the White House.

Those judges voted in 2022 to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made reproductive choice the law of the land. That reversal opened the door for states including Arizona, which all but banned abortions entirely this week, to impose rigid restrictions on women’s reproductive freedoms.

The Pew Research Center study published Friday found 78 percent of Catholic Democrats believe abortions should be legal in most or all cases while only 43 percent of Catholic Republicans hold that same position. Nearly 80 percent of non-Catholic Democrats support abortion rights in all or most situations.

That survey said 20 percent of American adults identify as Catholics, which comes out to roughly 52 million people. The majority are white and a third are Latino. Only 2 percent of the nation’s Black population practices Catholicism.

Researchers found in 2023 that 62 percent of all U.S. adults believe abortion is a right, while 36 percent want the practice to be banned in all or most cases

A CDC study published at the end of last year found that 625,978 abortions were performed in 2021 across 48 reporting areas nationwide.