Most people think pro-lifers are politically conservative Roman Catholics and evangelicals, but among the movement’s supporters are atheists and those on the left, according to data.
In a Wednesday post on the Religion in Public blog, Ryan P. Burge, a professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, unpacked the data about the political and religious demographics in the pro-life movement in light of a unique angle explored in a Jan. 19 Atlantic article: “What It’s Like for Secular, Liberal Pro-lifers at the March for Life” in Washington, D.C.
A sign held by one secular pro-lifer at this year’s march, the Atlantic observed, read “Secular Pro-life: For the Embryology Textbook Tells Me So,” a play on the chorus of “Jesus Loves Me.”
Burge explained that, according to 2016 survey data, nearly 55 percent of conservatives said they agreed with four or five of the following propositions: opposition to always allowing a woman to obtain an abortion as a matter of choice; support for prohibiting abortions at the 20th week of pregnancy; allowing employers to decline coverage of abortions in insurance plans; prohibiting use of federal monies funding abortion; and outlawing abortions in all circumstances.
Meanwhile, only 1.2 percent of liberals agreed with all five propositions and 5.1 percent agreed with four.
With regard to religious affiliation or lack thereof, 16.8 percent of atheists and 28 percent of agnostics agreed with at least two of the five propositions, the data show.
Approximately 1 in 25 atheists and agnostics support making abortion completely illegal.
“So are there secular and/or liberal folks who are pro-life? The answer is yes, but they are clearly in a very, very small minority. In fact, much less than 10 percent of atheists hold any position that would restrict abortion, and that share is not much bigger among agnostics as well,” Burge said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter