Acknow|edgements

Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsLlLuLe ls deeplv araLeful Lo Lhe lord loundaLlon for Lhelr
aenerous supporL of Lhe Mlllennlals, 8ellalon, & AborLlon Survev. 1he auLhors would
also llke Lo Lhank L.!. ulonne and 8lll CalsLon of Lhe 8rooklnas lnsLlLuLlon for Lhelr
lnslahLs as Lhe Þ88l Leam deslaned and analvzed Lhe survev, and korln uavls for her
sklllful work handllna Lhe loalsLlcs for Lhe release of Lhe flndlnas aL 8rooklnas.
AddlLlonallv, Lhe auLhors would llke Lo Lhank Camden 8lchards who served as a araphlcs
deslan consulLanL for Lhe reporL, and Þ88l Þress SecreLarv Shannon Crala SLraw and Þ88l
lnLerns SamanLha PolqulsL and !usLln MeLz who provlded meLlculous proofreadlna of
Lhe flnal documenL.

© Þub||c ke||g|on kesearch Inst|tute, Inc.
8oberL Þ. !ones, Þh.u., CLC
2027 MassachuseLLs Ave nW, 3
rd
lloor
WashlnaLon, uC 20036
hLLp://www.publlcrellalon.ora/


5can the fo||ow|ng Ck code w|th your smart phone to v|s|t the ÞkkI webs|te.

1ab|e of Contents

Lxecut|ve 5ummary ..................................................................................................... 1
Introduct|on: 1he Þecu||ar Þrof||e of M|||enn|a|s on Abort|on ...................................... 3
Amer|can Att|tudes on Abort|on.................................................................................. 4
Tienus in Aboition Attituues (2uu1-2u11)....................................................................................................4
views on Aboition by Bemogiaphic Subgioups...........................................................................................S
Salience of Aboition..................................................................................................................................................6
Decoup||ng the "Va|ues" Agenda: Abort|on and 5ame-sex Marr|age............................ 8
Biffeiing Tienus..........................................................................................................................................................8
ueneiational Biffeiences ........................................................................................................................................9
Biffeient Top of Ninu Associations................................................................................................................. 1u
C|rcumstances, Access, and kestr|ct|ons .................................................................... 12
views about Aboition in Specific Ciicumstances...................................................................................... 12
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Access to anu Availability of Local Aboition Seivices............................................................................. 16
Restiictions on Aboition: Paiental Consent Requiiements ................................................................. 17
Relateu Issues: Biith Contiol & Compiehensive Sex Euucation......................................................... 18
Cver|app|ng Ident|t|es and Att|tudes about Abort|on Laws........................................ 19
Not Iust "Pio-choice" oi "Pio-life" ................................................................................................................... 19
Social Acceptability of "Pio-Choice" anu "Pio-Life" Labels................................................................... 2u
0veilapping Suppoit foi Biffeient Puiposes of Aboition Laws ......................................................... 21
Comp|ex|t|es: Mora||ty and 5|n vs. Lega||ty and Ava||ab|||ty....................................... 22
Situational vs. Piinciple-baseu Appioaches to Noiality........................................................................ 22
Noiality ....................................................................................................................................................................... 22
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Sin .................................................................................................................................................................................. 24
Responsibility........................................................................................................................................................... 2S
The Big Pictuie: Ameiicans Conflicteu on Noiality anu Theology,
Committeu to Legality anu Availability................................................................................................... 2S
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ke||g|ous Inst|tut|ons, C|ergy, and Abort|on............................................................... 29
Religious Attenuance............................................................................................................................................. 29
Biblical Liteialism................................................................................................................................................... Su
Beaiing about Aboition anu Bomosexuality in Chuich......................................................................... Su
Bisagieement with 0fficial Religious Teachings ....................................................................................... S2
Rating Places of Woiship on theii Banuling of Aboition & Bomosexuality.................................. S2
Religious Leaueis anu Politicians .................................................................................................................... SS


Inf|uences on V|ews about Abort|on.......................................................................... 34
Situationalist Appioach to Noiality................................................................................................................ S4
Empathy anu Social Relationships................................................................................................................... S4
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0ltiasounu Images.................................................................................................................................................. S6
Novies anu Television........................................................................................................................................... S6
Nyths anu Facts about Influences on Aboition ......................................................................................... S7
Append|x 1. 5urvey Methodo|ogy.............................................................................. 38
About Þub||c ke||g|on kesearch Inst|tute ................................................................... 40


Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 1
Lxecut|ve 5ummary
A so||d ma[or|ty of Amer|cans say abort|on shou|d be |ega| |n a|| (19¼) or most (37¼) cases,
compared to 4-|n-10 who say |t shou|d be |||ega| |n a|| (14¼) or most (26¼) cases.
• WlLh Lhe excepLlon of whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs, ma[orlLles of all ma[or rellalous
aroups sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases.
• A ma[orlLv of Amerlcans across Lhe pollLlcal specLrum sav lL ls more soclallv accepLable
Lodav Lo be ºpro-cholce" raLher Lhan ºpro-llfe."

Near|y 6-|n-10 (58¼) Amer|cans say that at |east some hea|th care profess|ona|s |n the|r
commun|t|es shou|d prov|de |ega| abort|ons.
• WlLh Lhe excepLlon of whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs and LaLlno CaLhollcs, ma[orlLles of
all ma[or rellalous aroups aaree LhaL aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr
communlLv should provlde leaal aborLlons.
• Amerlcans who llve ln larae meLropollLan areas are much more llkelv Lhan Lhose who
llve ln rural communlLles Lo sav leaal aborLlon servlces should be avallable ln Lhelr
communlLv (67° vs. 39° respecLlvelv).

1he b|nary "pro-cho|ce"/"pro-||fe" |abe|s do not ref|ect the comp|ex|ty of Amer|cans' v|ews on
abort|on. Seven-ln-Len Amerlcans sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-cholce" descrlbes Lhem somewhaL or verv
well, and nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds slmulLaneouslv sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-llfe" descrlbes Lhem somewhaL or
verv well. 1hls overlapplna ldenLlLv ls presenL ln vlrLuallv everv demoaraphlc aroup.

1he decoup||ng of att|tudes on abort|on and same-sex marr|age suggests that these top|cs,
wh|ch served |n the past as the heart of the "va|ues" agenda, are no |onger necessar||y ||nked
|n the m|nds of Amer|cans.
• 8ouahlv Lhe same percenLaae of Amerlcans sald aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL
cases ln 1999 (37°) as sav Lhls Lodav (36°).
• ln conLrasL, Lhe percenLaae of Amerlcans who sald marrlaaes beLween same-sex couples
should be recoanlzed bv Lhe law as valld has arown 18 polnLs over Lhls same perlod,
from 33° ln 1999 Lo 33° ln 2011.

M|||enn|a|s are |ess support|ve of |ega| abort|on than the|r demograph|c prof||e wou|d suggest.
• Mlllennlals aenerallv have LralLs assoclaLed wlLh hlaher levels of supporL for Lhe leaallLv
of aborLlon: Lhev are more educaLed, more llberal, and more llkelv Lo be rellalouslv
unafflllaLed.
• Mlllennlals exempllfv Lhe decoupllna of aLLlLudes on leaal aborLlon and same-sex
marrlaae. 1hev are much more llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc Lo favor same-sex
marrlaae, buL Lhev are !"# slanlflcanLlv more llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc Lo supporL
Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon (60° vs. 36° ln Lhe aeneral publlc).
• Mlllennlals have laraelv poslLlve Lop of mlnd assoclaLlons wlLh same-sex marrlaae buL
have laraelv neaaLlve Lop of mlnd assoclaLlons wlLh aborLlon.
Public Religion Research Institute
2 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality

• Mlllennlals are confllcLed abouL Lhe morallLv of aborLlon, buL mosL sav same aender
sexual relaLlonshlps are morallv accepLable. nearlv 6-ln-10 (37°) Mlllennlals sav sex
beLween Lwo adulLs of Lhe same aender ls morallv accepLable, compared Lo onlv 46°
who sav havlna an aborLlon ls morallv accepLable.
• unllke all oLher aae aroups, Mlllennlals realsLer dlfferenL levels of supporL for Lhe
avallablllLv and leaallLv of aborLlon. Cn Lhe one hand, Mlllennlals are sLronalv commlLLed
Lo Lhe avallablllLv of aborLlon and are slanlflcanLlv more llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc Lo
sav LhaL aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr communlLv should provlde leaal
aborLlons (68° vs. 38° respecLlvelv). 8uL Lhev are no more llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc
Lo sav LhaL aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. 1hese flndlnas suaaesL aeneral
measures of leaallLv mav noL fullv capLure supporL for leaal aborLlon amona Mlllennlals.

Cn the |ssue of abort|on, Amer|cans ho|d comp|ex and somet|mes contrad|ctory v|ews, and
grasp|ng th|s comp|ex|ty |s cr|t|ca| for understand|ng the dynam|cs of the debate.
• ApproxlmaLelv 3-ln-10 Amerlcans hold decldedlv mlxed vlews abouL Lhe clrcumsLances
ln whlch havlna an aborLlon should be posslble. When measured on a composlLe scale of
supporL for aborLlon ln flve speclflc clrcumsLances, 43° sav aborLlon should be posslble
ln mosL or all of Lhese clrcumsLances, 29° sav aborLlon should noL be posslble ln mosL
or all of Lhese clrcumsLances, and 28° hold decldedlv mlxed vlews.
• Ma[orlLles of Amerlcans slmulLaneouslv sav aborLlon ls morallv wrona (32°) and LhaL lL
should be leaal ln all or mosL cases (36°).

1he study |dent|f|ed and tested a number of hypotheses about |ndependent |nf|uences on
att|tudes about the |ega||ty of abort|on. 1he followlna facLors are lndependenL predlcLors of
supporL for Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon, even when conLrolllna for oLher demoaraphlc
characLerlsLlcs:
• Pavlna a slLuaLlonallsL raLher Lhan a prlnclple-based approach Lo morallLv has a $"%&#&'(
lmpacL on supporL for Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon.
• knowlna someone who has had an aborLlon has a $"%&#&'( lmpacL on supporL for Lhe
leaallLv of aborLlon.
• Pavlna seen M1v's reallLv shows abouL unmarrled preananL Leenaaers has a $"%&#&'(
lmpacL on supporL for Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon.
• 8ecenLlv seelna an ulLrasound lmaae of a feLus has a !()*#&'( lmpacL on supporL for Lhe
leaallLv of aborLlon.

Among Amer|cans who attend church at |east once or tw|ce a month, ma[or|t|es report
hear|ng the|r c|ergy ta|k about the |ssue of abort|on (54¼) or homosexua||ty (51¼) |n church.
CaLhollcs are slanlflcanLlv more llkelv Lhan ÞroLesLanLs Lo hear abouL aborLlon ln church.

More than 7-|n-10 (72¼) re||g|ous Amer|cans be||eve |t |s poss|b|e to d|sagree w|th the
teach|ngs of the|r re||g|on on the |ssue of abort|on and st||| be cons|dered a person of good
stand|ng |n the|r fa|th. A ma[orlLv of all ma[or rellalous aroups, lncludlna CaLhollcs and whlLe
evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs aaree wlLh Lhls sLaLemenL.

Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 3
Introduct|on: 1he Þecu||ar Þrof||e of M|||enn|a|s on
Abort|on
1he Mlllennlal CeneraLlon, also known as CeneraLlon ?, descrlbes Lhe aeneraLlonal
cohorL LhaL follows CeneraLlon x. 1hls aeneraLlon lncludes Amerlcans LhaL were born
afLer 1980 and came of aae around Lhe Mlllennlum. lor analvLlcal purposes ln Lhls
reporL, we wlll llmlL Lhe deflnlLlon of Mlllennlals Lo Amerlcans aae 18 Lo 29. Mlllennlals
are dlfferenL from older aeneraLlons ln a number of wavs: Lhev are more raclallv and
eLhnlcallv dlverse, less rellalous bv almosL anv measure, and wlll llkelv become Lhe mosL
educaLed aeneraLlon ln Amerlcan hlsLorv. ln Lhelr comprehenslve reporL on Mlllennlals,
Lhe Þew 8esearch CenLer descrlbed Mlllennlals as ºconfldenL, self-expresslve, llberal,
upbeaL, and open Lo chanae." Cne of Lhe mosL pollLlcallv lmporLanL wavs LhaL
Mlllennlals dlffer from oLher cohorLs ls Lhelr aLLlLudes abouL aender roles and sexual
morallLv. Mlllennlals sLronalv supporL aender equallLv and rlahLs for aav and lesblan
people and aenerallv have more permlsslve aLLlLudes Lowards sexuallLv lssues.
Powever, bv LradlLlonal measures, vounaer Amerlcans are no more supporLlve of
aborLlon rlahLs Lhan Lhe aeneral populaLlon, desplLe havlna demoaraphlc characLerlsLlcs
(e.a., less rellalous) and aLLlLudes on relaLed lssues (e.a., aender equallLv) LhaL are
poslLlvelv correlaLed wlLh supporL for leaal aborLlon. 1he purpose of Lhls sLudv ls Lo shed
some llahL on Lhls apparenL paradox and Lo explore whaL role rellalon and values plav ln
vounaer Amerlcans' aLLlLudes Lowards reproducLlve lssues.
1he Mlllennlals, 8ellalon, and AborLlon Survev ls Lhe laraesL naLlonal publlc oplnlon
survev ever conducLed on aborLlon and Lhe lnfluence of rellalon and moral values on Lhe
lssue. 8ecause of lLs larae sample slze (n=3,000 lnLervlews), lL allows us Lo palnL a
porLralL of aeneraLlonal, rellalous, and eLhnlc dlfferences LhaL has noL been prevlouslv
posslble.

Public Religion Research Institute
4 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
Amer|can Att|tudes on Abort|on
1rends |n Abort|on Att|tudes (2001-2011)
Cver Lhe lasL decade, a ma[orlLv or plurallLv of Amerlcans have sald aborLlon should
be leaal ln all or mosL cases, alLhouah Lhere has been some volaLlllLv. Speclflcallv,
LhrouahouL mosL of Lhe decade, solld ma[orlLles usuallv hoverlna around Lhe mld-30's
reporLed LhaL aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases, compared Lo rouahlv 4-ln-10
who sald lL should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases. ln AuausL 2001, and aaaln ln 2009, Lhe
counLrv was nearlv dlvlded, buL numbers soon reLurned Lo Lhelr prevlous paLLern. Cur
mosL recenL daLa reflecLs Lhe domlnanL paLLern: a solld ma[orlLv of Amerlcans sav
aborLlon should be leaal ln all (19°) or mosL (37°) cases, and 4-ln-10 sav lL should be
llleaal ln all (14°) or mosL (26°) cases.
1he mosL polarlzed poslLlons-vlews LhaL aborLlon should be leaal or llleaal ln all
cases-have conslsLenLlv been a mlnorlLv oplnlon. CurrenLlv, rouahlv 1-ln-3 (19°)
Amerlcans reporL LhaL aborLlon should be leaal ln all cases, and 14° reporL LhaL lL should
be llleaal ln all cases. Cver Lhe lasL Len vears, Lhe percenLaae of Amerlcans who sav
aborLlon should be leaal ln all cases has never rlsen above 21°, and Lhe percenLaae who
sav lL should be llleaal ln all cases has never rlsen above 17°.
49
37
34
33
36
37
31
32
33
31
37
34
37
46
47
30
34
36
48
42
43
42
41
40
43
43
39
44
37
41
36
44
43
44
42
40
20
30
40
30
60
70
M
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0
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3

M
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4

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Source: A8C news/WashlnaLon ÞosL (uec. 2001- leb. 2006),
Þew 8esearch CenLer ( AuausL 2007- leb. 2011),
Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe (Mav 2011)
Amer|can Amtudes on Abornon (2001-2011)
Leaal ln all/mosL cases llleaal ln all/mosL cases
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 5

V|ews on Abort|on by Demograph|c 5ubgroups
vlews on aborLlon varv slanlflcanLlv bv aae, rellalon, race, educaLlon, pollLlcal
afflllaLlon, and aeoaraphlc realon. Powever, Lhere are no slanlflcanL aender dlfferences
ln vlews abouL Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon. ALLlLudes amona Lhe Mlllennlal aeneraLlon (aaes
18 Lo 29) do noL slanlflcanLlv dlffer from aLLlLudes ln Lhe aeneral populaLlon abouL Lhe
leaallLv of aborLlon. Slx-ln-Len Mlllennlals belleve LhaL aborLlon should be leaal ln all
(22°) or mosL (38°) cases, compared Lo approxlmaLelv 4-ln-10 who sav aborLlon should
be llleaal ln all (13°) or mosL (23°) cases. Amerlcans aaes 63 and older are Lhe onlv aae
aroup LhaL dlffers slanlflcanLlv from Lhe aeneral publlc. Amona Lhls older aae cohorL,
onlv abouL 4-ln-10 sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all (14°) or mosL (29°) cases,
compared Lo half who sav lL should be llleaal ln all (17°) or mosL (33°) cases.
WlLh Lhe excepLlon of whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs, ma[orlLles of all oLher ma[or
rellalous aroups favor leaallzed aborLlon. AL leasL Lwo-Lhlrds of rellalouslv unafflllaLed
Amerlcans (69°), whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs (67°), and black ÞroLesLanLs (66°) sav
aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. A ma[orlLv (34°) of all CaLhollcs sav
aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases, lncludlna 31° of LaLlno CaLhollcs. Amona
whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs, however, less Lhan 3-ln-10 (29°) sav aborLlon should be
leaal ln all or mosL cases, compared Lo Lwo-Lhlrds (67°) who sav lL should be llleaal ln all
or mosL cases.
1here are slanlflcanL dlfferences bv race and eLhnlclLv. nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds (64°) of
Afrlcan Amerlcans belleve aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. A solld ma[orlLv
(36°) of non-Plspanlc whlLes sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases, mlrrorlna
Lhe aeneral populaLlon. LaLlnos, ln conLrasL, are evenlv dlvlded on Lhe lssue, wlLh 47°
savlna aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases and 49° savlna lL should llleaal ln all
or mosL cases.
Plaher educaLlonal aLLalnmenL levels are assoclaLed wlLh more supporLlve vlews of
leaal aborLlon. Amona Amerlcans wlLh a posL-araduaLe educaLlon, nearlv 7-ln-10 (68°)
sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. ln conLrasL, Amerlcans wlLh a hlah
school educaLlon or less are nearlv evenlv dlvlded on Lhe lssue, wlLh 30° savlna
aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases and 46° savlna lL should be llleaal ln all or
mosL cases.
uemocraLs are approxlmaLelv 30 polnLs more llkelv Lo sav aborLlon should be leaal
Lhan 8epubllcans. Seven-ln-Len uemocraLs sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL
cases. Amona 8epubllcans and Amerlcans who ldenLlfv wlLh Lhe 1ea ÞarLv movemenL,
rouahlv 4-ln-10 sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases (38° and 41°
respecLlvelv). Solld ma[orlLles of 8epubllcans and Amerlcans who ldenLlfv wlLh Lhe 1ea
Public Religion Research Institute
6 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
ÞarLv movemenL sav aborLlon should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases (60° and 33°
respecLlvelv). ÞollLlcal lndependenLs closelv mlrror Lhe aeneral populaLlon.
Amerlcans who llve ln more urban areas or who llve ln Lhe norLheasL or WesL are
more llkelv Lo supporL leaallzed aborLlon Lhan Lhose who llve ln rural areas or ln Lhe
SouLh and MldwesL.
1
Solld ma[orlLles of Amerlcans ln Lhe norLheasL and WesL sav
aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases (66° and 60° respecLlvelv). Amerlcans who
llve ln Lhe SouLh or MldwesL are dlvlded, wlLh 31° of each realon supporLlna leaal
aborLlon ln all or mosL cases. SlxLv-Lhree percenL of Amerlcans who llve ln urban areas
belleve aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases, whlle Amerlcans who llve ln rural
communlLles are dlvlded, wlLh 43° savlna aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases
and half (30°) savlna lL should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases.
5a||ence of Abort|on
nearlv 3-ln-10 (29°) Amerlcans sav aborLlon ls a crlLlcal lssue faclna Lhe counLrv
Lodav, an equal number (29°) sav LhaL lL ls one amona manv lmporLanL lssues, and 4-ln-
10 sav lL ls noL LhaL lmporLanL compared Lo oLher lssues. ln comparlson, close Lo 8-ln-10
(78°) Amerlcans reporL LhaL Lhe economv ls a crlLlcal lssue, and more Lhan 4-ln-10
Amerlcans sav LhaL lmmlaraLlon (43°) and Lhe envlronmenL (42°) are crlLlcal lssues.
lewer Lhan 1-ln-4 (23°) reporL LhaL same-sex marrlaae ls a crlLlcal lssue, same-sex
marrlaae ls Lhe onlv lssue abouL whlch a ma[orlLv (33°) sav lL ls noL LhaL lmporLanL
compared Lo oLher lssues.

1
1hrouahouL Lhls reporL, urban/rural breakdowns reflecL resulLs from Lhe landllne sample onlv because
communlLv Lvpe was unavallable for respondenLs reached bv cell phone.
78
43
42
29
23
18
36
39
29
21
3
20
18
40
33
0
10
20
30
40
30
60
70
80
90
1he economv lmmlarauon 1he envlronmenL Aboruon Same-sex
Marrlaae
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe, Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev,
Mav 2011 (n=3,000)
5a||ence of Abornon |n Context
Crlucal lssue Cne amona manv lmporLanL lssues noL LhaL lmporLanL
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 7
Cenerallv speaklna, Lhere are onlv mlnor varlaLlons ln prlorlLles amona demoaraphlc
aroups, and mosL subaroups rank aborLlon fourLh ouL of flve lssues, wlLh same-sex
marrlaae aenerallv ranklna flfLh. 1wo ma[or excepLlons Lo Lhls paLLern are whlLe
evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs, 8epubllcans, and Lhose who ldenLlfv wlLh Lhe 1ea ÞarLv.
Members of Lhese Lhree subaroups rank aborLlon Lhlrd behlnd Lhe economv and
lmmlaraLlon and rank Lhe envlronmenL lasL.
1here are slanlflcanL dlfferences ln Lhe sallence of aborLlon beLween Lhose who
belleve aborLlon should be leaal and Lhose who belleve lL should be llleaal. 1hose who
oppose leaal aborLlon are more Lhan Lhree Llmes as llkelv as Lhose who supporL leaal
aborLlon Lo sav lL ls a crlLlcal lssue. Amona Lhose who sav aborLlon should be llleaal ln all
cases, nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds (63°) sav LhaL aborLlon ls a crlLlcal lssue. ln conLrasL, amona
Lhose who sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all cases, onlv 19° sav lL ls a crlLlcal lssue.
Public Religion Research Institute
8 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
Decoup||ng the "Va|ues" Agenda: Abort|on and
5ame-sex Marr|age
ln recenL elecLlon cvcles Lhe so-called ºvalues voLer" aaenda has ofLen been dlsLllled
Lo aborLlon and same-sex marrlaae. ?eL Lhese Lwo conLroverslal Loplcs are no lonaer
necessarllv llnked ln Lhe mlnds of Amerlcans. 1he aap ls parLlcularlv noLable amona Lhe
Mlllennlal aeneraLlon, who supporL rlahLs for aav and lesblan Amerlcans aL raLes much
hlaher Lhan Lhelr parenLs buL whose aenerallv supporLlve vlews on Lhe leaallLv of
aborLlon do noL devlaLe slanlflcanLlv from Lhelr parenLs or Lhe aeneral publlc.
D|ffer|ng 1rends
Cver Lhe lasL decade, Lhe paLLern of supporL for leaallzed aborLlon and same-sex
marrlaae have been dramaLlcallv dlfferenL. As we noLed above, desplLe some modesL
volaLlllLv, supporL for leaallzed aborLlon has been aenerallv sLable durlna Lhls perlod.
8ouahlv Lhe same percenLaae of Amerlcans sald aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL
cases ln 1999 (37°) as sav Lhls Lodav (36°). Cn Lhe lssue of same-sex marrlaae, ln
conLrasL, Lhere has been a dramaLlc shlfL ln oplnlon, especlallv over Lhe lasL decade. ln
1999, onlv 33° of Lhe publlc sald marrlaaes beLween same-sex couples should be
recoanlzed bv Lhe law as valld. ln 2011, a ma[orlLv (33°) sav same-sex marrlaae should
be recoanlzed bv Lhe law as valld, an 18-polnL lncrease.
33
42
37
42
46
40 40
44
33
37
33
49
37
34
36
31
32
34
47
30
36
0
10
20
30
40
30
60
70
80
90
100
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2003 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Source: Callup 1999-2011 (Same-sex marrlaae),
Þew 8esearch CenLer, 1999-2011 (Aboruon)
V|ews on 5ame-sex Marr|age & Abornon (1999-2011)
SupporL same-sex marrlaae Aboruon leaal all/mosL cases
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 9
Generat|ona| D|fferences
1he paLLern of supporL on
each of Lhese lssues bv aae also
shows remarkable dlfferences
beLween Lhe Lwo lssues. 1here ls
no slanlflcanL dlfference beLween
Lhe vlews of Mlllennlals and Lhe
aeneral publlc on Lhe lssue of
aborLlon. Amona aae cohorLs,
onlv senlors have a slanlflcanLlv
dlfferenL proflle. nearlv equal
numbers of Mlllennlals (60°),
Amerlcans aae 30-49 (38°) and
Amerlcans aae 30-64 (39°) sav
aborLlon should be leaal ln all or
mosL cases, compared Lo [usL
43° of Amerlcans aae 63 and
over.
1he aeneraLlonal dlvlde on Lhe lssue of same-sex marrlaae, ln conLrasL, ls nearlv
llnear and dramaLlc.
2
Amona Mlllennlals, nearlv 6-ln-10 (37°) sav aav and lesblan
couples should be allowed Lo
marrv, and an addlLlonal 19° sav
Lhev should be allowed Lo form
clvll unlons. Amona Amerlcans
aae 63 and older, onlv abouL 1-
ln-4 (26°) sav aav couples should
be allowed Lo marrv, and
anoLher 27° sav Lhev should be
allowed Lo form clvll unlons.
Senlors are more Lhan Lwlce as
llkelv as Mlllennlals Lo sav Lhere
should be no leaal recoanlLlon of
aav couples' relaLlonshlps (44°
vs. 21°).


2
1he currenL survev uses a 3-parL quesLlon LhaL asks abouL supporL for allowlna aav and lesblan couples Lo
marrv, for allowlna aav and lesblan couples Lo form clvll unlons buL noL marrv, and for no leaal recoanlLlon of a aav
couple's relaLlonshlp. 1hls 3-parL quesLlon, because of an expllclL opLlon for clvll unlons, resulLs ln sllahLlv lower
supporL for same-sex marrlaae Lhan Lhe 2-parL quesLlon used bv Callup.
37
60
42
38
32
39
26
43
0
20
40
60
80
100
lavor same-sex marrlaae Aboruon should be leaal
ln all/mosL cases
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe, Mlllennlals,
8ellalon & Aboruon Survev, Mav 2011 (n=3,000)
Generanona| D|v|s|ons on
Abornon & 5ame-sex Marr|age
18-29 30-49 30-64 63+
41
30
34 34
39
31
69
37
0
10
20
30
40
30
60
70
80
Sex beLween adulLs of Lhe
same aender
Pavlna an aboruon
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe, Mlllennlals,
8ellalon & Aboruon Survev, Mav 2011 (n=3,000)
V|ew 8ehav|or as Mora||y Wrong
18-29 30-49 30-64 63+
Public Religion Research Institute
10 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
1here ls also a llnear relaLlonshlp beLween aae and [udamenLs abouL Lhe moral
accepLablllLv of sex beLween Lwo adulLs of Lhe same aender, wlLh older Amerlcans much
more llkelv Lo sav Lhese relaLlonshlps are morallv wrona. Amona Mlllennlals, 37° sav
LhaL sexual relaLlons beLween people of Lhe same aender ls morallv accepLable,
compared Lo onlv abouL 4-ln-10 (41°) who sav lL ls morallv wrona. ln conLrasL, nearlv 6-
ln-10 (39°) babv-boomers (aae 30-64) and nearlv 7-ln-10 (69°) senlors (aae 63 and
older) sav sexual relaLlons beLween people of Lhe same aender ls morallv wrona.
Cn Lhe oLher hand, Lhe aeneraLlonal paLLern on vlews abouL Lhe morallLv of aborLlon
ls non-llnear. Mlllennlals are less llkelv Lhan senlors Lo sav LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls
morallv wrona, buL Lhe aap ls noL larae (30° vs. 37° respecLlvelv). Powever, Lhere are
no slanlflcanL dlfferences beLween Mlllennlals and oLher aae aroups besldes senlors, or
beLween Mlllennlals and Lhe publlc overall.
D|fferent 1op of M|nd Assoc|at|ons
Þrlor Lo conducLlna Lhe quanLlLaLlve survev, we conducLed a seL of four focus aroups
amona LhlrLv-slx whlLe, pollLlcallv moderaLe, 18 Lo 29 vear olds ln Lhe Parrlsbura,
Þennsvlvanla area. 1he aroups, whlch were separaLed bv aender, were deslaned Lo
explore Lhe dlfferenL wavs Mlllennlals approached Lhe lssues of aborLlon and same-sex
marrlaae. AL Lhe bealnnlna of each aroup, parLlclpanLs were asked Lo Lake parL ln a ºLop
of mlnd assoclaLlon" exerclse, where Lhev wroLe down Lhe flrsL word LhaL came Lo mlnd
when Lhev heard Lhe Lerm ºaborLlon," and Lhe flrsL word LhaL came Lo mlnd when Lhev
heard Lhe Lerm ºsame-sex marrlaae." ÞarLlclpanLs were Lhen asked Lo wrlLe Lhree oLher
words Lhev assoclaLed wlLh each Lerm, whlch produced a LoLal of 144 assoclaLed words
for each lssue. 1he Lable below dlsplavs Lhe resulLs of a random selecLlon of 43 words
Lhese pollLlcallv moderaLe Mlllennlals assoclaLed wlLh aborLlon and same-sex marrlaae.
As even a cursorv alance aL Lhe Lable shows, Lhe Mlllennlals ln our focus aroups hold
dramaLlcallv dlfferenL Lop of mlnd assoclaLlons wlLh aborLlon and same-sex marrlaae.
Cn Lhe lssue of aborLlon, a ma[orlLv (34°) of Lhe words are neaaLlve and more
assoclaLed wlLh opposlna leaal aborLlon. lor example, Lhe words ºdeaLh" or ºkllllna"
appear flve Llmes and ºsad" appears Lhree Llmes. Cnlv 16° of Lhe responses are words
more assoclaLed wlLh afflrmlna leaal aborLlon. ln conLrasL, Lhe Lop of mlnd assoclaLlons
wlLh same-sex marrlaae are sLronalv afflrmlna. A ma[orlLv (33°) of Lhe words are
poslLlve and more assoclaLed wlLh afflrmlna same-sex marrlaae. 1he word ºequal"
appears flve Llmes, and Lhe word ºlove" appears Lhree Llmes. 1here are also several
poslLlve hlah lnLenslLv phrases such as ºAwesome," ºlL's cool," and ºCo for lL!" Cnlv
21° of Lhe responses are Lerms more assoclaLed wlLh opposlna same-sex marrlaae.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 11



Public Religion Research Institute
12 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
C|rcumstances, Access, and kestr|ct|ons
V|ews about Abort|on |n 5pec|f|c C|rcumstances
vlews on aborLlon dlffer markedlv dependlna on Lhe parLlcular clrcumsLances. ln
order Lo aeL a more nuanced plcLure of how speclflc clrcumsLances maLLer for
Amerlcans' vlews on aborLlon, we adapLed a baLLerv of quesLlons abouL clrcumsLances
from Lhe Ceneral Soclal Survev, one of Lhe lonaesL-runnlna sources of polllna on soclal
lssues.
3
SLrona ma[orlLles aaree LhaL lL should be posslble for a woman Lo obLaln a leaal
aborLlon ln four of seven clrcumsLances: lf Lhe woman's phvslcal healLh ls serlouslv
endanaered bv Lhe preanancv (86°), lf she became preananL as a resulL of rape (79°), lf
Lhe woman's menLal healLh ls serlouslv endanaered bv Lhe preanancv (74°), and lf
Lhere ls a sLrona chance of serlous defecL ln Lhe babv (66°).
Amerlcans are more amblvalenL or opposed Lo a woman obLalnlna a leaal aborLlon
ln Lhree oLher speclflc clrcumsLances. Amerlcans are dlvlded over wheLher a woman
should be able Lo obLaln a leaal aborLlon because Lhe woman ls sLlll ln hlah school (47°
posslble, 49° noL posslble). Ma[orlLles of Amerlcans sav lL should noL be posslble for a

3
1he Ceneral Soclal Survev (CSS) ls conducLed bv Lhe naLlonal Cplnlon 8esearch CenLer aL Lhe unlverslLv of
Chlcaao. Slnce 1972, Lhe CSS has been monlLorlna socleLal chanae and Lhe arowlna complexlLv of Amerlcan socleLv.
LxcepL for Lhe u.S. Census, Lhe CSS ls Lhe mosL frequenLlv analvzed source of lnformaLlon ln Lhe soclal sclences. lor
Lhls sLudv, we omlLLed some lLems, and added Lhe lLem, ºlf she ls sLlll ln hlah school." 1he quesLlon sLem and oLher
lLems were Laken verbaLlm from Lhe CSS.
86
79
74
66
47
43
39
10
17
22
28
49
32
38
0
20
40
60
80
100
lf woman's
phvslcal
healLh ls
endanaered
lf preanancv
was resulL of
rape
lf woman's
menLal
healLh ls
endanaered
lf chance of
serlous blrLh
defecL
lf she ls sull
ln hlah
school
lf she ls low
lncome
lf she does
noL wanL Lo
marrv Lhe
man
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon research lnsuLuLe, Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev, Mav 2011
(n=3,000)
V|ews about Abornon |n 5pec|hc C|rcumstances
Aboruon should be allowed Aboruon should nC1 be allowed
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 13
woman Lo obLaln a leaal aborLlon ln Lwo clrcumsLances: Lhe famllv ls low lncome and
cannoL afford anv more chlldren (32°), and Lhe woman ls noL marrled and does noL
wanL Lo marrv Lhe man (38°).
!"#$%&'()*'+$,*(-./0)1+-#0$2-13#$
ln order Lo aaln a more nuanced undersLandlna of Amerlcan vlews abouL Lhe
permlsslblllLv of aborLlon and speclflc clrcumsLances, we creaLed an addlLlve scale from
3 of Lhese measures: lf Lhe preanancv was Lhe resulL of rape (q10d), lf Lhere ls a sLrona
chance of serlous defecL ln Lhe babv (q10c), lf she ls sLlll ln hlah school (C10a), lf Lhe
famllv has a low lncome and cannoL afford more chlldren (C10f), and lf Lhe woman ls
noL marrled and does noL wanL Lo marrv Lhe man (C10e).
4

1hls composlLe ºaborLlon clrcumsLances scale" lmproves upon Lhe LradlLlonal four-
parL leaallLv quesLlon bv palnLlna a more flne-aralned porLralL of aLLlLudes on aborLlon.
1he addlLlve scale produced flve caLeaorles. 8ouahlv 3-ln-10 (29°) Amerlcans sav
aborLlon should be posslble ln all flve clrcumsLances, and an addlLlonal 14° sav aborLlon
should be posslble ln mosL clrcumsLances. ln conLrasL, 12° sav aborLlon should noL be
posslble ln anv of Lhe flve clrcumsLances, and an addlLlonal 17° sav aborLlon should noL
be posslble ln mosL clrcumsLances.
lmporLanLlv, nearlv 3-ln-10 (28°) Amerlcans are solldlv dlvlded and hold mlxed
vlews. 1hese respondenLs elLher belleve aborLlon should be avallable ln some

4
1wo measures were excluded from Lhls analvsls because Lhev were onlv asked of half Lhe LoLal sample: C10a,
whlch asked wheLher aborLlon should be posslble lf Lhe woman's phvslcal healLh was endanaered, and C10b, whlch
asked lf aborLlon should be posslble lf Lhe woman's menLal healLh was endanaered.
Public Religion Research Institute
14 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
clrcumsLances and noL ln oLhers, or were unsure of Lhe clrcumsLances ln whlch aborLlon
should be posslble.
1hls more complex composlLe measure reveals lmporLanL dlfferences ln oplnlons of
subaroups. Slmllar Lo Lhe paLLern found ln Lhe four-parL quesLlon, Mlllennlals closelv
resemble Lhe aeneral publlc ln Lhe number of clrcumsLances ln whlch Lhev sav obLalnlna
a leaal aborLlon should be posslble, as do Amerlcans who are mlddle aaed. Converselv,
Amerlcans who are 63 or older are slanlflcanLlv less llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc Lo sav
LhaL lL should be posslble Lo obLaln a leaal aborLlon ln all flve clrcumsLances (22° vs.
29° respecLlvelv). Powever, Lhev are noL more llkelv Lhan Lhe publlc Lo sav aborLlon
should be llleaal ln all flve clrcumsLances (10° and 12° respecLlvelv).
1here are slanlflcanL dlvlslons bv rellalous afflllaLlon. 1wo-Lhlrds (67°) of Lhe
rellalouslv unafflllaLed and half (30°) of whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs sav aborLlon should
be posslble ln mosL or all clrcumsLances. WhlLe CaLhollcs and black ÞroLesLanLs are more
dlvlded, buL plurallLles of each aroup (44° and 41° respecLlvelv) sav aborLlon should be
posslble ln mosL or all clrcumsLances. 8lack ÞroLesLanLs are also noLable as Lhe aroup
mosL llkelv Lo have mlxed vlews abouL aborLlon (36°). ln conLrasL, fewer Lhan 1-ln-4
whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs (23°) and LaLlno CaLhollcs (22°) sav aborLlon should be
posslble ln mosL or all clrcumsLances. LaLlno CaLhollcs are half as llkelv as whlLe
CaLhollcs Lo belleve LhaL aborLlon should be posslble ln mosL or all clrcumsLances (22°
vs. 44° respecLlvelv). lL ls also noLeworLhv LhaL aL leasL one-quarLer of everv ma[or
rellalous aroup hold mlxed vlews abouL Lhe clrcumsLances ln whlch aborLlon should be
posslble.
Slmllar Lo Lhe aeneral quesLlon abouL Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon, Lhere are also no
slanlflcanL aender dlfferences ln aLLlLudes measured bv Lhe aborLlon clrcumsLances
scale.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 15
%$4(*#5$6''7$1)$%/#(*-1+0$8*)"$9*:#;$<*#80$'+$%&'()*'+$
8elvlna on Lhe LradlLlonal 4-parL measure of aborLlon ofLen leads Lo Lhe concluslon
LhaL a larae ma[orlLv of Amerlcans are somewhere ln Lhe mlddle on Lhe lssue of aborLlon
(elLher leaal ln mosL cases or llleaal ln mosL cases). Powever, ln Lhese mlddle caLeaorles
Lhere ls a varleLv of oplnlon. Cne advanLaae of consLrucLlna a composlLe scale uslna
mulLlple measures ls LhaL lL demonsLraLes LhaL a much smaller number-approxlmaLelv
3-ln-10 (28°) Amerlcans-consLlLuLe Lhe aroup wlLh solldlv mlxed vlews on Lhe
permlsslblllLv of aborLlon ln cerLaln clrcumsLances.
Þerhaps Lhe mosL remarkable LralL abouL Amerlcans who have mlxed vlews on
aborLlon ls LhaL, wlLh Lhe excepLlon of Lhelr educaLlonal proflle, Lhev are nearlv
lndlsLlnaulshable from Lhe aeneral publlc. 1hev are evenlv dlvlded beLween men and
women. 1hev reflecL proporLlonal numbers of raclal and eLhnlc mlnorlLles, and Lhev are
also proporLlonallv spread across aae caLeaorles. A plurallLv of Amerlcans wlLh mlxed
vlews on aborLlon are pollLlcallv lndependenL (36°) or moderaLe (40°), also mlrrorlna
Lhe pollLlcal proflle of Lhe publlc aL larae. 1hev draw proporLlonallv from ma[or rellalous
aroups and aLLend rellalous servlces aL rouahlv Lhe same raLes as Lhe aeneral
populaLlon. 1helr one dlsLlnaulshlna characLerlsLlc ls LhaL a ma[orlLv (32°) of Amerlcans
who have mlxed vlews on aborLlon have a hlah school educaLlon or less, compared Lo
42° of Lhe aeneral publlc.
As ls expecLed, Amerlcans wlLh mlxed vlews on aborLlon are nearlv evenlv dlvlded on
Lhe quesLlon of Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon, wlLh 48° savlna aborLlon should be leaal ln all
or mosL cases, and 43° savlna aborLlon should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases.
29
31
33
29
22
13 13
14
16
17
13
19
10 9
28
23
32
23
36
30
29
17
8
14
18
13
24
33
12
3
3
13
9
24
13
0
23
30
73
100
Ceneral
Þubllc
unamllaLed
(n=396)
WhlLe
Malnllne
(n=307)
WhlLe
CaLhollc
(n=434)
8lack
ÞroLesLanL
(n=192)
WhlLe
Lvanaellcal
(n=708)
Launo
CaLhollc
(n=119)
Source: Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev, Mav 2011 (n=3,000)
V|ews on Abornon |n Certa|n C|rcumstances
by ke||g|ous Am||anon
Þosslble ln all clrcumsLances Þosslble ln mosL Mlxed noL posslble ln mosL noL Þosslble ln all clrcumsLances
Public Religion Research Institute
16 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
Access to and Ava||ab|||ty of Loca| Abort|on 5erv|ces
A sllm ma[orlLv (31°) of Amerlcans sav LhaL obLalnlna an aborLlon ln Lhelr
communlLv ls noL Loo dlfflculL or noL aL all dlfflculL. Cne-Lhlrd (33°) reporL LhaL lL ls
somewhaL or verv dlfflculL, and a slanlflcanL number (17°) reporL belna unsure or dld
noL answer Lhe quesLlon. Amona Mlllennlals, 33° belleve lL ls noL aL all or noL Loo
dlfflculL Lo obLaln an aborLlon, and 37° sav LhaL lL ls somewhaL or verv dlfflculL.
Mlllennlals are more llkelv Lhan oLher aae cohorLs Lo have an oplnlon abouL how dlfflculL
lL ls Lo aeL an aborLlon, onlv 7° reporL LhaL Lhev are unsure or do noL know, compared
Lo 28° of Amerlcans aae 63 or older. 1here are no slanlflcanL dlfferences ln oplnlon on
Lhls quesLlon bv pollLlcal or rellalous afflllaLlon or bv aender.
Amerlcans who llve ln rural areas
are abouL Lwlce as llkelv as Lhose
who llve ln urban areas Lo belleve
LhaL lL ls elLher somewhaL or verv
dlfflculL Lo aeL an aborLlon (48° and
23° respecLlvelv). A ma[orlLv (33°)
of urban resldenLs sav lL ls noL Loo or
noL aL all dlfflculL. 1here are no
dlfferences ln Lhe vlews of
Amerlcans bv realon, across each
realon, Amerlcans are much more
llkelv Lo sav lL ls noL LhaL dlfflculL Lo
aeL an aborLlon Lhan sav lL ls dlfflculL.
uesplLe dlvlslons amona
Amerlcans abouL Lhe permlsslblllLv of
aborLlon across dlfferenL
clrcumsLances, nearlv 6-ln-10 (38°)
Amerlcans aaree LhaL aL leasL some
healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr
communlLles should provlde leaal
aborLlons. Powever, vlews dlffer
dramaLlcallv bv aae, rellalon,
educaLlon, aeoaraphv, and
communlLv Lvpe.
nearlv 7-ln-10 (68°) Mlllennlals,
buL onlv 42° of senlors aae 63 and
older, sav Lhere should be some leaal
aborLlon servlces avallable ln Lhelr
communlLv. 1he vlews of Amerlcans
aae 30-49 and 30-64 mlrror Lhe
38
72
71
38
36
38
37
68
60
39
42
68
62
43
43
66
63
33
32
67
39
0 30 100
Ceneral Þubllc
WhlLe malnllne
unamllaLed
WhlLe CaLhollc
8lack ÞroLesLanL
Launo CaLhollc
WhlLe evanaellcal
Aae 18-29
Aae 30-49
Aae 30-64
Aae 63+
uemocraL
lndependenL
8epubllcan
1ea ÞarLv
norLheasL
WesL
MldwesL
SouLh
Larae ClLv*
8ural*
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe,
Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev,
Mav 2011 (n=3,000)
* lncludes onlv Landllne Lelephone respondenLs
At |east some hea|th care
profess|ona|s |n commun|ty
shou|d prov|de |ega| abornons
+(,-(!#./),((&!).
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 17
vlews of Lhe aeneral populaLlon on Lhls lssue.
Ma[orlLles of rellalouslv unafflllaLed Amerlcans (71°), whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs
(72°), and black ÞroLesLanLs (36°) sav aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr
communlLv should provlde leaal aborLlons. CaLhollcs are more dlvlded on Lhls lssue
overall, buL Lhere are double-dlalL eLhnlc dlvlslons amona CaLhollcs. nearlv 6-ln-10 (38°)
whlLe CaLhollcs sav LhaL aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr communlLv
should provlde aborLlons, compared Lo onlv 38° of LaLlno CaLhollcs. WhlLe evanaellcal
ÞroLesLanL vlews are verv slmllar Lo LaLlno CaLhollcs, onlv 37° sav Lhelr communlLles
should have aL leasL some healLh care professlonals who provlde aborLlon servlces.
ulvlslons are also larae bv educaLlonal aLLalnmenL. ApproxlmaLelv Lhree-quarLers
(76°) of Amerlcans wlLh a posL-araduaLe dearee sav some healLh care provlders should
provlde leaal aborLlon servlces, compared Lo onlv 47° of Lhose wlLh a hlah school
educaLlon or less.
Amerlcans who llve ln Lhe norLheasL (66°) and WesL (63°) are slanlflcanLlv more
llkelv Lhan Lhose who llve ln Lhe MldwesL (33°) or SouLh (32°) Lo sav aL leasL some
healLh care professlonals should provlde leaal aborLlon servlces. 1hree-quarLers (67°) of
Amerlcans who llve ln larae clLles belleve LhaL aL leasL some healLh care professlonals
should provlde aborLlons, compared Lo onlv 39° of Amerlcans who llve ln rural areas.
kestr|ct|ons on Abort|on: Þarenta| Consent kequ|rements
nearlv 3-ln-4 (73°) Amerlcans favor requlrlna women under Lhe aae of 18 Lo aeL Lhe
consenL of aL leasL one parenL before Lhev are allowed Lo have an aborLlon. 8ouahlv 1-
ln-4 (24°) Amerlcans oppose Lhls pollcv. SupporL for Lhls pollcv ls sLrona across
demoaraphlc, rellalous, and pollLlcal aroups. ApproxlmaLelv 7-ln-10 (71°) Mlllennlals
supporL Lhls requlremenL, as do nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds (64°) of Amerlcans aae 63 and older.
SupporL for parenLal consenL laws are also hlah across Lhe pollLlcal specLrum, lncludlna
64° of uemocraLs, 74° of lndependenLs, 84° of 8epubllcans, and 83° of Lhose
ldenLlfvlna wlLh Lhe 1ea ÞarLv. Amerlcans who self-ldenLlfv as pollLlcallv llberal are Lhe
leasL llkelv Lo favor a requlremenL LhaL women under Lhe aae of 18 aeL parenLal
consenL, buL even amona Lhls aroup, 34° favor Lhls pollcv.
Public Religion Research Institute
18 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality

ke|ated Issues: 8|rth Contro| & Comprehens|ve 5ex Lducat|on
Comprehenslve sex educaLlon ln publlc schools remalns popular amona a larae
ma[orlLv of Amerlcans. nearlv 8-ln-10 (78°) Amerlcans favor comprehenslve sex
educaLlon ln publlc schools.
Amona aeneraLlonal aroups, supporL for comprehenslve sex educaLlon ls sLronaesL
amona Mlllennlals (88°), alLhouah a solld ma[orlLv (62°) of senlors aae 63 and older
also supporL lL. 1here ls also sLrona supporL across rellalous aroups. LlahLv-flve percenL
of whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs, 78° of CaLhollcs, 74° of black ÞroLesLanLs, and 62° of
whlLe evanaellcals favor Leachlna comprehenslve sex educaLlon ln publlc schools.
WlLh Lhe lone excepLlon of Lhe 1ea ÞarLv, supporL for comprehenslve sex educaLlon
ls also sLrona across Lhe pollLlcal specLrum. 1wo-Lhlrds of 8epubllcans, 79° of
lndependenLs, and 83° of uemocraLs supporL lL. A much smaller ma[orlLv (34°) of
Amerlcans who ldenLlfv wlLh Lhe 1ea ÞarLv sav Lhev favor Leachlna comprehenslve sex
educaLlon publlc schools, and 4-ln-10 are opposed.
ApproxlmaLelv 8-ln-10 (82°) Amerlcans favor expandlna access Lo blrLh conLrol for
women who cannoL afford lL, compared Lo onlv 16° who oppose lL. SupporL ls sLrona
across all demoaraphlc rellalous and pollLlcal aroups, lncludlna Lhe 1ea ÞarLv.


Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 19
Cver|app|ng Ident|t|es and Att|tudes about
Abort|on Laws
Not Iust "Þro-cho|ce" or "Þro-||fe"
uesplLe Lhe polarlzlna rheLorlc ln Lhe publlc debaLe, when alven Lhe opporLunlLv, a
slanlflcanL number of Amerlcans ldenLlfv slmulLaneouslv as boLh ºpro-llfe" and ºpro-
cholce." lor example, 7-ln-10 Amerlcans sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-cholce" descrlbes Lhem
somewhaL (32°) or verv (38°) well, and nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds of Amerlcans slmulLaneouslv
sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-llfe" descrlbes Lhem somewhaL (31°) or verv (33°) well.
1hls overlapplna ldenLlLv ls presenL ln vlrLuallv everv demoaraphlc aroup. lor
example, whlle Lhree-quarLers of Mlllennlals ldenLlfv wlLh Lhe Lerm ºpro-cholce," 63°
also sav ºpro-llfe" descrlbes Lhem aL leasL somewhaL well, amona senlors, nearlv Lwo-
Lhlrds ldenLlfv as boLh pro-cholce (63°) and pro-llfe (66°). WlLh Lhe excepLlon of whlLe
evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs, solld ma[orlLles of everv ma[or rellalous aroup sav boLh Lerms
descrlbe Lhem aL leasL somewhaL well. LlahLv percenL of whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs
sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-llfe" descrlbes Lhem aL leasL somewhaL well, buL sLlll nearlv half (48°)
also sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-cholce" descrlbes Lhem aL leasL somewhaL well. 1here ls also a
hlah dearee of overlap amona boLh women and men, wlLh each aender aroup closelv
mlrrorlna Lhe aeneral populaLlon.
uemocraLs and 8epubllcans lean ln expecLed dlrecLlons ln ldenLlfvlna wlLh Lhese
labels-79° of 8epubllcans and 83° of Lhose ldenLlfvlna wlLh Lhe 1ea ÞarLv sav ºpro-
llfe" descrlbes Lhem well, and 81° of uemocraLs sav ºpro-cholce" descrlbes Lhem well.
lL ls noLable, however, LhaL a ma[orlLv (32°) of 8epubllcans and Lhose ldenLlfvlna wlLh
Lhe 1ea ÞarLv (31°) also sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-cholce" descrlbes Lhem aL leasL somewhaL
well, and a ma[orlLv (36°) of uemocraLs also sav Lhe Lerm ºpro-llfe" descrlbes Lhem aL
leasL somewhaL well.
ln order Lo beLLer undersLand Lhese overlapplna ldenLlLles, we consLrucLed an
addlLlve scale comblnlna Lhe Lwo quesLlons LhaL asked respondenLs how well Lhe ºpro-
cholce" and ºpro-llfe" labels descrlbed Lhem (C14a and C14b).
3
1hls scale helped us
sorL ouL Lhe number of Amerlcans who accepLed one label buL re[ecLed Lhe oLher even
when alven Lhe opporLunlLv Lo ldenLlfv wlLh boLh. 1hls analvsls produced a rouahlv

3
SLrona ldenLlflers are Lhose respondenLs who boLh sLronalv ldenLlfv wlLh one label and sLronalv re[ecL Lhe
oLher. Weak ldenLlflers have one of Lwo aLLrlbuLes: 1) Lhev do noL sLronalv ldenLlfv wlLh one label buL sLronalv re[ecL
Lhe oLher, or 2) Lhev sLronalv ldenLlfv wlLh one label buL do noL sLronalv re[ecL Lhe oLher. Mlxed ldenLlflers are Lhose
who refuse Lo ldenLlfv wlLh elLher label, or Lhose who ldenLlfv wlLh or re[ecL boLh labels equallv.
Public Religion Research Institute
20 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
normal curve dlsLrlbuLlon of responses, wlLh a plurallLv (37°) of Amerlcans holdlna a
mlxed ldenLlLv, elLher ldenLlfvlna wlLh or re[ecLlna boLh Lerms equallv. ApproxlmaLelv 1-
ln-3 Amerlcans ldenLlfv elLher as weaklv (21°) or sLronalv (13°) ºpro-cholce," whlle
sllahLlv fewer ldenLlfv as weaklv (17°) or sLronalv (12°) ºpro-llfe."
1hls pro-cholce/pro-llfe ldenLlLv scale produced a hlaher number of respondenLs ln
Lhe mlxed caLeaorv Lhan aborLlon clrcumsLances scale dlscussed above. unllke Lhe
mlxed caLeaorv ln Lhe aborLlon clrcumsLances scale, Lhe mlxed caLeaorv ln Lhe pro-
cholce/pro-llfe ldenLlLv scale leans sLronalv Lowards supporL for leaal aborLlon. nearlv
6-ln-10 (39°) of Lhose ln Lhe mlxed caLeaorv sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL
cases, compared Lo onlv 33° who sav lL should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases.
5oc|a| Acceptab|||ty of "Þro-Cho|ce" and "Þro-L|fe" Labe|s
Whlle Amerlcans are nearlv equallv dlvlded ln ldenLlfvlna wlLh Lhe ºpro-cholce" and
ºpro-llfe" labels, Lhev have a clear oplnlon of whlch label ls more soclallv accepLable ln
conLemporarv socleLv. A ma[orlLv (33°) of Amerlcans sav LhaL lL ls more soclallv
accepLable Lo be ºpro-cholce" ln Amerlca Lodav, compared Lo 32° who sav lL ls more
soclallv accepLable Lo be pro-llfe. 1hls paLLern aenerallv holds Lrue across mosL
demoaraphlc subaroups, lncludlna Mlllennlals. Ma[orlLles of uemocraLs (33°) and
8epubllcans (33°), llberals (32°) and conservaLlves (32°), all sav LhaL belna ºpro-
cholce" ls more soclallv accepLable Lodav. A plurallLv (49°) of CaLhollcs aaree LhaL Lhe
ºpro-cholce" label ls more accepLable, buL 39° of CaLhollcs-hlaher Lhan anv oLher
rellalous aroup-sav LhaL Lhe ºpro-llfe" label ls more soclallv accepLable. 1hls dlfference
amona CaLhollcs ls laraelv due Lo Lhe dlfferences beLween whlLe CaLhollcs, amona
whom a solld ma[orlLv (37°) sav Lhe ºpro-cholce" label ls more soclallv accepLable, and
LaLlno CaLhollcs, amona whom a solld ma[orlLv (61°) sav Lhe ºpro-llfe" label ls more
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 21
soclallv accepLable. 1here are no slanlflcanL dlfferences ln vlews on Lhls quesLlon bv
realon or communlLv Lvpe.
Amerlcans who belleve aborLlon should be leaal ln all cases are noL anv more llkelv
Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc Lo belleve LhaL belna ºpro-cholce" ls more soclallv accepLable
(32°). Cn Lhe oLher hand, Amerlcans who sav aborLlon should be llleaal ln all cases are
more llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc Lo sav belna ºpro-llfe" ls more soclallv accepLable
(43°), alLhouah approxlmaLelv Lhe same number sav belna ºpro-cholce" ls more soclallv
accepLable (43°).
Cver|app|ng 5upport for D|fferent Þurposes of Abort|on Laws
8eflecLlna Lhelr complex pro-cholce/pro-llfe ldenLlLles, manv Amerlcans
slmulLaneouslv afflrm seemlnalv conLradlcLorv sLaLemenLs abouL Lhe purpose of
aborLlon laws. SLrona ma[orlLles, for example, slmulLaneouslv sav LhaL lL ls approprlaLe
for aborLlon laws Lo proLecL Lhe llfe of Lhe feLus LhrouahouL Lhe enLlre preanancv, and
LhaL lL ls approprlaLe for laws Lo preserve a woman's freedom Lo make her own
declslons (63° Lo 70°). 8ouahlv 8-ln-10 also sav lL ls approprlaLe for aborLlon laws Lo
proLecL Lhe healLh and well-belna of women, and LhaL lL ls approprlaLe for laws Lo
encouraae women Lo make more responslble declslons (82° and 78° respecLlvelv).
Public Religion Research Institute
22 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
Comp|ex|t|es: Mora||ty and 5|n vs. Lega||ty and
Ava||ab|||ty
When maklna [udamenLs abouL Lhe lssue of aborLlon, Amerlcans draw dlsLlncLlons
beLween whaL ls moral, whaL ls slnful, and whaL ls responslble. A sllm ma[orlLv sav
havlna an aborLlon ls morallv wrona. Cn Lhe oLher hand, Amerlcans are dlvlded on
wheLher aborLlon ls slnful, and a solld ma[orlLv of Amerlcans sav LhaL ln some
clrcumsLances havlna an aborLlon ls Lhe mosL responslble declslon a woman can make.
5|tuat|ona| vs. Þr|nc|p|e-based Approaches to Mora||ty
AL a macro level, mosL Amerlcans favor a more slLuaLlonal morallLv LhaL facLors ln
clrcumsLances raLher Lhan a prlnclple-based approach LhaL relles on absoluLe rules LhaL
alwavs applv. A ma[orlLv (34°) of Amerlcans belleve whaL ls rlahL or wrona almosL
alwavs depends on Lhe slLuaLlon, compared Lo 43° who belleve LhaL Lhere are some
Lhlnas LhaL are [usL wrona.
1hls moral orlenLaLlon dlvldes Amerlcans bv aender, aae, rellalon, and pollLlcal
afflllaLlon. Women are more llkelv Lhan men Lo embrace a slLuaLlonal approach Lo
morallLv (38° vs. 31°). Mlllennlals are slanlflcanLlv more llkelv Lo be slLuaLlonallsLs Lhan
senlors (64° vs. 36°). Solld ma[orlLles of everv ma[or rellalous aroup, excepL whlLe
evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs, also lean Lowards a slLuaLlonallsL approach. ln conLrasL, 34° of
whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs embrace a prlnclple-based approach Lo morallLv. 1hls
baslc moral orlenLaLlon also dlsLlnaulshes 8epubllcans and Lhose ldenLlfvlna wlLh Lhe
1ea ÞarLv, amona whom ma[orlLles Lake a prlnclple-based approach (33° and 36°
respecLlvelv), from uemocraLs and lndependenLs, amona whom ma[orlLles Lake a
slLuaLlonallsL approach (61° and 33° respecLlvelv).
Mora||ty
vlews abouL Lhe morallLv of cerLaln personal behavlors ranae from [udamenLs abouL
dlvorce, whlch ls broadlv vlewed as morallv accepLable, Lo [udamenLs abouL sex
beLween vouna people under Lhe aae of 18, whlch ls wldelv vlewed as morallv wrona.
1he lssue of aborLlon ranked rouahlv ln Lhe mlddle of flve behavlors Amerlcans belleve
are morallv accepLable or wrona.
!"#$9'(13$%--#=)1&*3*)>$'5$%&'()*'+$*+$,'+)#:)$
A sllm ma[orlLv (32°) of Amerlcans belleve havlna an aborLlon ls morallv wrona,
compared Lo 40° who sav lL ls morallv accepLable. Mlllennlals are more dlvlded on Lhe
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 23
morallLv of aborLlon, wlLh half (30°) savlna havlna an aborLlon ls morallv wrona and
46° savlna lL ls morallv accepLable. Amona Amerlcans aae 63 and older, 37° sav
aborLlon ls morallv wrona, and 31° sav lL ls morallv accepLable. 1here are no slanlflcanL
aender dlfferences ln aLLlLudes abouL Lhe moral accepLablllLv of aborLlon.
Ma[orlLles of mosL ma[or rellalous aroups-lncludlna whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs
(73°), Afrlcan Amerlcan ÞroLesLanLs (60°), and CaLhollcs (38°)-belleve LhaL havlna an
aborLlon ls morallv wrona. WhlLe Malnllne ÞroLesLanLs sLand ouL here, wlLh rouahlv
equal numbers savlna havlna an aborLlon ls morallv accepLable (43°) or morallv wrona
(43°). A sLrona ma[orlLv (61°) of rellalouslv unafflllaLed Amerlcans belleve havlna an
aborLlon ls morallv accepLable. More Lhan Lwo-Lhlrds of 8epubllcans and 7-ln-10
members of Lhe 1ea ÞarLv movemenL sav aborLlon ls morallv wrona, compared Lo onlv
42° of uemocraLs.
Amerlcans' baslc moral orlenLaLlon-slLuaLlonal vs. prlnclple-based-lnfluences Lhelr
vlews on Lhls quesLlon. noL surprlslnalv, amona Lhose who hold a prlnclple-based
approach Lo morallLv, 63° belleve havlna an aborLlon ls morallv wrona. Amona Lhose
who hold a more slLuaLlonallsL approach Lo morallLv, a plurallLv (48°) sav havlna an
aborLlon ls morallv accepLable, compared Lo 43° who sav lL ls morallv wrona.
!"#$9'(13$%--#=)1&*3*)>$'5$?)"#($@00.#0$
1wo-Lhlrds of Amerlcans sav LhaL aeLLlna dlvorced ls morallv accepLable. lewer Lhan
3-ln-10 (27°) sav lL ls morallv wrona. A sLrona ma[orlLv of whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs
(73°), CaLhollcs (68°), and Lhe unafflllaLed (77°) sav aeLLlna dlvorced ls morallv
accepLable. A smaller ma[orlLv of black ÞroLesLanLs (34°) and a plurallLv (49°) of whlLe
66
37
40
41
34
27
41
32
33
61
0
10
20
30
40
30
60
70
Cemna dlvorced Sex beLween
unmarrled man
and woman
Pavlna an
aboruon
Sex beLween Lwo
adulLs of Lhe
same aender
Sex beLween a
vouna man &
woman under 18
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe, Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev, Mav
2011 (n=3,000)
Mora| Iudgments about Þersona| 8ehav|or
Morallv accepLable Morallv wrona
Public Religion Research Institute
24 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
evanaellcals belleve dlvorce ls morallv accepLable. 1here ls llLLle dlfference beLween
Mlllennlals and older aae cohorLs on Lhe lssue of dlvorce.
nearlv 6-ln-10 (37°) Amerlcans sav LhaL sex beLween an unmarrled man and woman
ls morallv accepLable. 1he aap beLween Mlllennlals and older Amerlcans ls subsLanLlal
on Lhls quesLlon. Seven-ln-Len Mlllennlals sav LhaL sex beLween an unmarrled man and
woman ls morallv accepLable, compared Lo [usL 38° of Amerlcans aae 63 and older.
AbouL 4-ln-10 (41°) Amerlcans sav LhaL sex beLween Lwo adulLs of Lhe same aender
ls morallv accepLable, a ma[orlLv (33°) sav lL ls morallv wrona. 1here ls a LhlrLv-polnL
aeneraLlon aap on Lhls quesLlon. Amona Mlllennlals, nearlv 6-ln-10 (37°) sav sex
beLween Lwo adulLs of Lhe same aender ls morallv accepLable, compared Lo onlv 1-ln-4
(23°) Amerlcans aae 63 and older.
Cnlv abouL one-Lhlrd (34°) of Amerlcans sav LhaL sex beLween a vouna man and
woman under Lhe aae of 18 ls morallv accepLable. 8ouahlv slx-ln-Len (61°) sav lL ls
morallv wrona. Mlllennlals are more llkelv Lhan older Amerlcans Lo sav LhaL sex amona
vouna people under Lhe aae of 18 ls morallv accepLable, buL even amona Lhls aae cohorL
less Lhan half aaree LhaL lL ls (43°).
5|n
Amerlcans are more llkelv Lo sav LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls morallv wrona Lhan Lhev
are Lo sav LhaL lL ls a sln. Cn Lhe Lheoloalcal quesLlon, Amerlcans are dlvlded: 46°
belleve havlna an aborLlon ls a sln, and 44° dlsaaree. 1here are few aeneraLlonal
dlfferences on Lhls quesLlon. Mlllennlals' vlews rouahlv resemble Lhose of Lhe aeneral
populaLlon: 43° belleve havlna an aborLlon ls a sln, buL a plurallLv (49°) dlsaaree.
1here are slanlflcanL rellalous and pollLlcal dlvlslons on Lhls quesLlon. nearlv 7-ln-10
(69°) whlLe evanaellcals, and nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds of black ÞroLesLanLs (64°) and LaLlno
CaLhollcs (63°), aaree LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls a sln. WhlLe CaLhollcs are evenlv
dlvlded, wlLh 46° aareelna LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls a sln, and 46° dlsaareelna. WhlLe
malnllne ÞroLesLanLs are Lhe onlv ma[or rellalous aroup ln whlch a ma[orlLv (33°) does
noL belleve LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls a sln.
1here are also slanlflcanL aender and pollLlcal dlfferences. Women are somewhaL
more llkelv Lhan men Lo sav LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls a sln (30° vs. 43°), whlch mav
reflecL Lhe facL LhaL women aenerallv have hlaher levels of rellalous enaaaemenL Lhan
men. More Lhan 6-ln-10 8epubllcans and Amerlcans who ldenLlfv wlLh Lhe 1ea ÞarLv
movemenL (61° and 62° respecLlvelv) belleve LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls a sln,
compared Lo onlv 39° of uemocraLs and 43° of pollLlcal lndependenLs.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 25

kespons|b|||ty
uesplLe holdlna slanlflcanL moral and Lheoloalcal concerns, nearlv 6-ln-10 (39°)
Amerlcans belleve LhaL ln cerLaln clrcumsLances havlna an aborLlon ls Lhe mosL
responslble declslon a woman can make. ApproxlmaLelv one-Lhlrd (33°) re[ecL Lhls
sLaLemenL and sav LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls a selflsh declslon LhaL allows a woman Lo
avold Laklna responslblllLv. Mlllennlals are no more llkelv Lhan older Amerlcans Lo sav
LhaL aborLlon can be Lhe mosL responslble declslon a woman can make.
WlLh Lhe excepLlon of whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs and LaLlno CaLhollcs, sLrona
ma[orlLles of all ma[or rellalous aroups-lncludlna 68° of whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs,
60° of black ÞroLesLanLs, and 63° of whlLe CaLhollcs-sav LhaL ln cerLaln clrcumsLances
havlna an aborLlon ls Lhe mosL responslble declslon a woman can make. ln conLrasL, onlv
38° of whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs and 44° of LaLlno CaLhollcs aaree. A ma[orlLv
(36°) of whlLe evanaellcals and a plurallLv (47°) of LaLlno CaLhollcs sav LhaL havlna an
aborLlon ls a selflsh declslon LhaL allows a woman Lo avold Laklna responslblllLv.
noLablv, more Lhan one-Lhlrd Lhose who belleve havlna an aborLlon ls morallv wrona
(36°) or havlna an aborLlon ls a sln (33°) also noneLheless belleve havlna an aborLlon ls
ln some clrcumsLances Lhe mosL responslble declslon a woman can make. Amona
Amerlcans who Lake a more slLuaLlonallsL approach Lo morallLv, Lwo-Lhlrds (67°) sav
havlna an aborLlon ls ln some clrcumsLances Lhe mosL responslble declslon a woman can
make. Lven amona Amerlcans who Lake a more prlnclple-based approach Lo morallLv,
half (30°) sav lL ls ln some cases Lhe mosL responslble declslon a woman can make.
1he 8|g Þ|cture: Amer|cans Conf||cted on Mora||ty and 1heo|ogy,
Comm|tted to Lega||ty and Ava||ab|||ty
Amerlcans' moral and rellalous [udamenLs have a complex relaLlonshlp Lo supporL
for Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon and Lhe avallablllLv of leaal aborLlons ln local communlLles.
Whlle Amerlcans are morallv opposed and Lheoloalcallv confllcLed abouL Lhe lssue of
aborLlon, Lhev are slmulLaneouslv commlLLed Lo Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon and Lo Lhe
avallablllLv of aborLlon ln Lhelr local communlLv. lL ls noLable LhaL Lhere ls a nearlv 20-
polnL aap beLween Lhe mlnorlLv of Amerlcans who sav aborLlon ls morallv accepLable
and Lhe sLrona ma[orlLv of Amerlcans who noneLheless sav LhaL aL leasL some healLh
care professlonals should provlde leaal aborLlons ln Lhelr local communlLles.
Public Religion Research Institute
26 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality


Mora| and 1heo|og|ca| Lva|uat|ons vs.
5upport for Lega||ty and Ava||ab|||ty by Age
A1B*+C$1+$%&'()*'+$*0D$ %&'()*'+$2"'.3;$4#D$

Mora||y
Acceptab|e


Not a 5|n
Lega| |n
A||/Most
Cases

Ava||ab|e |n
Loca| Commun|ty
Ceneral
ÞopulaLlon

40

44

36

38
18-29 46 49 60 68
30-49 39 43 38 60
30-64 40 43 39 39
63+ 31 41 43 42

Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsLlLuLe, Mlllennlals, 8ellalon, and AborLlon
Survev, Mav 2011 (n=3,000)
!"#$6#C13*)>E%B1*31&*3*)>$F*55#(#+-#$1/'+C$9*33#++*130$
1he Lable above also reveals an lmporLanL and unlque aLLrlbuLe of Mlllennlals. ln Lhe
aeneral populaLlon and all oLher aae aroups excepL for Mlllennlals, nearlv equal
numbers supporL Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon and Lhe local avallablllLv of aborLlon servlces.
Mlllennlals, however, supporL Lhe avallablllLv of local aborLlon servlces aL a slanlflcanLlv
hlaher raLe (68°) Lhan Lhev supporL Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon (60°).
ln order Lo sorL ouL Lhe lndependenL effecL of aae on vlews of Lhe leaallLv and
avallablllLv of aborLlon, we consLrucLed Lwo dlfferenL mulLlvarlaLe rearesslon models.
6

1he flrsL model lncluded baslc demoaraphlc, rellalous, and pollLlcal varlables Lo predlcL
belna a member of Lhe aroup who savs aborLlon should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases.
1he second model lncluded Lhe same conLrols Lo predlcL belna a member of Lhe aroup
who savs aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr local communlLv should
provlde leaal aborLlons.
Cn Lhe quesLlon of leaallLv, when conLrolllna for oLher characLerlsLlcs, Mlllennlals are
surprlslnalv 1.3 Llmes more llkelv Lhan older Amerlcans Lo sav aborLlon should be &00()*0
ln all or mosL cases. ln conLrasL, on Lhe quesLlon of avallablllLv, when conLrolllna for Lhe
same oLher characLerlsLlcs, Mlllennlals are abouL 1.3 Llmes more llkelv Lhan older

6
1he loalsLlc rearesslon models (noL shown) lncluded Lhe followlna lndependenL varlables: parLv afflllaLlon,
educaLlon, pollLlcal ldeoloav, educaLlon, aender, aae, rellalous aLLendance, lncome, race and eLhnlclLv, evanaellcal
self-ldenLlflcaLlon, and vlews abouL Lhe lnerrancv of Lhe 8lble.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 27
Amerlcans Lo sav aL leasL some healLh care provlders should provlde leaal aborLlons ln
Lhelr communlLv.
1he analvsls suaaesLs LhaL Mlllennlals respond ln a somewhaL ldlosvncraLlc wav Lo
quesLlons abouL leaallLv or publlc pollcv, realsLerlna oplnlons LhaL are less supporLlve
Lhan mlahL oLherwlse be predlcLed alven Lhelr overall proflle. More concreLe quesLlons
abouL Lhe avallablllLv of aborLlon ln Lhelr local communlLv ellclL slanlflcanLlv hlaher
supporL. ln oLher words, Lhese flndlnas suaaesL aeneral measures of leaallLv mav noL
fullv capLure supporL for leaal aborLlon amona Mlllennlals.
!"#$6#C13*)>E%B1*31&*3*)>$F*55#(#+-#$1/'+C$G#3*C*'.0$H('.=0$
Comparlna Lhe dlfferences beLween moral and Lheoloalcal evaluaLlons on Lhe one
hand, and oplnlons abouL leaallLv and avallablllLv on Lhe oLher hand also reveals
lmporLanL rellalous dlfferences. 1here are also double-dlalL aaps beLween Lhe
proporLlon of rellalous Amerlcans who sav aborLlon ls morallv or Lheoloalcallv
accepLable and Lhe proporLlon who sav aborLlon should be leaal or locallv avallable.


1he laraesL aaps beLween moral accepLablllLv and local avallablllLv are amona whlLe
malnllne ÞroLesLanLs and black ÞroLesLanLs, where Lhe aap ls approxlmaLelv 27 and 23
polnLs respecLlvelv. Cnlv 43° of whlLe Malnllne ÞroLesLanLs belleve havlna an aborLlon
ls morallv accepLable, buL 72° sav aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr
Mora| and 1heo|og|ca| Lva|uat|ons vs.
5upport for Lega||ty and Ava||ab|||ty by ke||g|ous Aff|||at|on
A1B*+C$1+$%&'()*'+$*0D$ %&'()*'+$2"'.3;$4#D$

Mora||y
Acceptab|e


Not a 5|n
Lega| |n
A||/Most
Cases

Ava||ab|e |n
Loca| Commun|ty
Ceneral
ÞopulaLlon

40

44

36

38
1!*22&0&*#(3. 61 69 69 71
45&#(.6*&!0&!(.
+,"#(%#*!#.

43

33

67

72
70*-8.+,"#(%#*!#. 31 23 66 36
9*#5"0&-.
:45&#(.9*#5"0&-.
:;*#&!".9*#5"0&-.
34
42
17
39
46
24
34
34
31
31
38
38
45&#(.<'*!)(0&-*0.
+,"#(%#*!#.

18

21

29

37

Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsLlLuLe, Mlllennlals, 8ellalon, and AborLlon Survev, Mav
2011 (n=3,000)
Public Religion Research Institute
28 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
communlLv should provlde leaal aborLlon servlces. Slmllarlv, onlv 31° of black
ÞroLesLanLs belleve havlna an aborLlon ls morallv accepLable, buL 36° sav leaal aborLlon
servlces should be avallable ln Lhelr communlLv.
Cne dlsLlncLlve paLLern worLh noLlna ls Lhe dlfference beLween aLLlLudes amona
whlLe rellalous aroups and mlnorlLv rellalous aroups across Lhese four measures. Amona
all whlLe rellalous aroups, supporL for local avallablllLv ls hlaher Lhan supporL for leaallLv.
Amona mlnorlLv rellalous aroups and mlnorlLles overall, supporL for leaallLv exceeds
supporL for local avallablllLv. lor example, nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds of black ÞroLesLanLs (66°)
and a sllm ma[orlLv (31°) of LaLlno CaLhollcs sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL
cases. Powever, a smaller ma[orlLv (36°) of black ÞroLesLanLs and onlv 38° of LaLlno
CaLhollcs sav aL leasL some healLh care professlonals should provlde leaal aborLlons ln
Lhelr local communlLles.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 29
ke||g|ous Inst|tut|ons, C|ergy, and Abort|on
ke||g|ous Attendance
Amerlcans who aLLend rellalous servlces aL leasL weeklv are more llkelv Lo oppose
Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon Lhan Lhose who aLLend less frequenLlv or who never aLLend
rellalous servlces. Amona Lhe approxlmaLelv 4-ln-10 Amerlcans who aLLend rellalous
servlces aL leasL once a week, 60° sav aborLlon should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases,
compared Lo 36° who sav lL should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. ln conLrasL, nearlv Lwo-
Lhlrds (64°) of Amerlcans who aLLend servlces less frequenLlv (monLhlv or a few Llmes a
vear), and nearlv Lhree-fourLhs (74°) of Amerlcans who aLLend servlces seldom or
never, sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. 1hls aeneral paLLern holds
amona Mlllennlals and all oLher aae aroups.
Church aLLendance paLLerns do noL lnfluence oplnlons on aborLlon equallv ln all
rellalous aroups. MosL lmporLanLlv, frequencv of aLLendance maLLers more for CaLhollcs
Lhan lL does for oLher ma[or rellalous aroups. Amona CaLhollcs, 41° aLLend church aL
leasL weeklv, 38° aLLend church monLhlv or a few Llmes a vear, and 19° sav Lhev
seldom or never aLLend. Amona Lhe approxlmaLelv 4-ln-10 CaLhollcs who aLLend church
aL leasL weeklv, onlv abouL one-Lhlrd (34°) sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL
cases. 8uL sLrona ma[orlLles of CaLhollcs who aLLend monLhlv or a few Llmes a vear (62°)
or who aLLend seldom or never (78°) sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases.
8ellalous afflllaLlon appears Lo maLLer more amona some rellalous aroups Lhan
oLhers. Ma[orlLles of whlLe evanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs ln all measurable rellalous
aLLendance caLeaorles sav aborLlon should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases. Converselv,
23
34
32
38
42
62
72
* *
78
72
*
0
23
30
73
100
WhlLe
evanaellcal
(n=708)
CaLhollc
(n=612)
WhlLe malnllne
(n=307)
8lack
ÞroLesLanL
(n=192)
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe, Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev,
Mav 2011 (n=3,000) * n < 100
5upport for Lega| Abornon
by ke||g|ous Auendance and 1rad|non
Weeklv or more
MonLhlv or vearlv
Seldom or never
Public Religion Research Institute
30 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
ma[orlLles of whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs and black ÞroLesLanLs ln all rellalous aLLendance
caLeaorles sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases.
lrequencv of church aLLendance also lnfluences Amerlcans' vlews abouL Lhe
avallablllLv of aborLlon servlces ln Lhelr nelahborhoods. Amona Lhose who aLLend
rellalous servlces aL leasL once a week, a sllm ma[orlLv (32°) dlsaaree LhaL Lhere should
be aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr communlLles who provlde leaal
aborLlons, buL 42° of Lhls aroup sav Lhese servlces should be avallable. SLrona
ma[orlLles of Amerlcans who aLLend rellalous servlces monLhlv or a few Llmes a vear
(63°) and Lhose who aLLend seldom or never (74°) sav aL leasL some healLh care
professlonal ln Lhelr communlLles should provlde leaal aborLlons. 1hese aLLendance
paLLerns aenerallv hold up wlLhln rellalous aroups wlLh Lwo excepLlons: ma[orlLles of
even Lhe mosL frequenLlv aLLendlna whlLe Malnllne ÞroLesLanLs (62°) and black
ÞroLesLanLs (32°) sav aL leasL some healLh care professlonals should provlde leaal
aborLlons ln Lhelr communlLles.
8|b||ca| L|tera||sm
CerLaln Lheoloalcal vlews are also llnked Lo vlews abouL aborLlon. Amerlcans who sav
Lhe 8lble ls Lhe word of Cod and should be Laken llLerallv, word for word, are more llkelv
Lo belleve aborLlon should be llleaal. Amona Lhls aroup, rouahlv 6-ln-10 (39°) sav
aborLlon should be llleaal ln all or mosL cases and less Lhan 4-ln-10 (37°) sav lL should
be leaal ln all or mosL cases. A ma[orlLv (33°) of Amerlcans who sav Lhe 8lble ls Lhe
llLeral word of Cod, buL LhaL noL evervLhlna ln lL should be Laken llLerallv belleve
aborLlon should be leaal. Amona Amerlcans who belleve LhaL Lhe 8lble ls a book wrlLLen
bv men and noL Lhe word of Cod, more Lhan 8-ln-10 belleve aborLlon should be leaal ln
all (34°) or mosL (49°) cases. 1hese paLLerns aenerallv hold across rellalous aroups.
near|ng about Abort|on and nomosexua||ty |n Church
Amona Amerlcans who aLLend church aL leasL once or Lwlce a monLh, ma[orlLles
reporL hearlna Lhelr clerav Lalk abouL Lhe lssue of aborLlon (34°) and homosexuallLv
(31°) ln church. 1here are dramaLlc dlfferences, however, ln Lhls paLLern amona
rellalous subaroups.
8eaularlv aLLendlna CaLhollcs are slanlflcanLlv more llkelv Lhan reaular churchaoers
overall Lo hear abouL Lhe lssue of aborLlon. More Lhan 7-ln-10 (72°) whlLe CaLhollcs
who aLLend worshlp aL leasL once or Lwlce a monLh sav Lhelr clerav Lalk abouL Lhe lssue
of aborLlon, whlle onlv abouL one-Lhlrd (33°) sav Lhev hear abouL Lhe lssue of
homosexuallLv. 1he aap amona reaularlv aLLendlna LaLlno CaLhollcs ls somewhaL
smaller, buL Lhev are sLlll more llkelv Lo hear abouL Lhe lssue of aborLlon (63°) Lhan
homosexuallLv (49°).
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 31
1here ls a less pronounced emphasls aap amona ÞroLesLanLs. Amona whlLe
evanaellcals, 37° reporL hearlna abouL Lhe lssue of homosexuallLv, whlle 34° sav Lhev
hear abouL aborLlon from Lhelr clerav. More Lhan 6-ln-10 (61°) black ÞroLesLanLs sav
Lhelr clerav speak ouL on Lhe lssue of homosexuallLv, whlle a smaller ma[orlLv (32°) hear
abouL aborLlon. WhlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs are slanlflcanLlv less llkelv Lhan anv oLher
rellalous aroup Lo hear Lhelr clerav Lalk abouL elLher lssue, onlv abouL 4-ln-10 reporL
hearlna abouL homosexuallLv (43°) or aborLlon (39°) ln Lhelr churches.
Amerlcans who reaularlv aLLend rellalous servlces and hear Lhelr clerav speak abouL
Lhe lssue of aborLlon or homosexuallLv reporL hearlna LhaL Lhese lssues are morallv
wrona. Amona Amerlcans who hear Lhelr clerav speak abouL aborLlon ln church, 81°
hear lL ls morallv wrona, compared Lo [usL 3° who hear LhaL lL ls morallv accepLable.
Slmllarlv, amona Amerlcans who hear Lhelr clerav speak abouL Lhe lssue of
homosexuallLv ln church, nearlv 8-ln-10 (77°) hear LhaL lL ls morallv wrona, compared
Lo onlv 3° who hear LhaL lL ls morallv accepLable.
WhlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs and whlLe CaLhollcs hear slanlflcanLlv dlfferenL
emphases from Lhelr clerav on Lhese Lwo lssues. 1hree-quarLers (73°) of whlLe malnllne
ÞroLesLanLs hear from Lhelr clerav LhaL aborLlon ls morallv wrona, compared Lo [usL 34°
who reporL hearlna Lhelr clerav sav homosexuallLv ls morallv wrona. Amona whlLe
CaLhollcs, 86° reporL hearlna Lhelr clerav sav LhaL aborLlon ls morallv wrona, compared
Lo 64° who hear Lhls same neaaLlve messaae abouL Lhe lssue of homosexuallLv. 1here
are no slanlflcanL dlfferences ln clerav messaaes on Lhese Lwo lssues amona whlLe
evanaellcals, LaLlno CaLhollcs, or black ÞroLesLanLs.
1he messaaes Amerlcans are hearlna ln church are sLronalv correlaLed wlLh Lhelr
vlews on Lhe lssues of aborLlon. Amona Amerlcans whose clerav sav aborLlon ls morallv
34
72
63
34
32
39
31
33
49
37
61
43
0
10
20
30
40
30
60
70
80
All reaular
auenders
(n=1,633)
WhlLe CaLhollc
(n=279)
Launo CaLhollc
(n=84)
WhlLe
evanaellcal
(n=366)
8lack
ÞroLesLanL
(n=146)
WhlLe malnllne
(n=231)
Source: Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsuLuLe, Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev, Mav 2011
(n=3,000)
near|ng about Abornon and nomsosexua||ty |n Church
Pear abouL aboruon Pear abouL homosexuallLv
Public Religion Research Institute
32 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
wrona, approxlmaLelv Lwo-Lhlrds (66°) belleve aborLlon should be llleaal ln all or mosL
cases. ln conLrasL, less Lhan half of Lhose who do noL hear abouL Lhe lssue from Lhelr
clerav, or whose clerav do noL Lake a clear poslLlon on Lhe lssue, belleve aborLlon should
be llleaal ln all or mosL cases (42° and 43° respecLlvelv).
D|sagreement w|th Cff|c|a| ke||g|ous 1each|ngs
SLrona ma[orlLles of Amerlcans belleve lL ls posslble Lo dlsaaree wlLh Lhe Leachlnas of
Lhelr rellalon on Lhe lssue of aborLlon (72°) or homosexuallLv (63°) and sLlll be
consldered a person of aood sLandlna ln Lhelr falLh. ÞroLesLanLs aenerallv sav Lhere ls
more room for dlsaareemenL on Lhe lssue of aborLlon, whlle CaLhollcs sav Lhere ls more
room for dlsaareemenL on Lhe lssue of homosexuallLv.
WhlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs are more llkelv Lhan anv oLher ma[or rellalous aroup Lo
belleve LhaL Lhev can sLlll be a aood ChrlsLlan even lf Lhev dlsaaree wlLh Lhe Leachlnas of
Lhelr rellalon on Lhe lssue of aborLlon (86°) or homosexuallLv (77°). More Lhan Lwo-
Lhlrds (67°) of whlLe evanaellcals sav LhaL lL ls posslble Lo dlsaaree wlLh Lhelr rellalon's
Leachlnas on aborLlon and sLlll be consldered a aood ChrlsLlan, buL Lhev are Lhe onlv
rellalous aroup ln whlch less Lhan a ma[orlLv (47°) aaree LhaL lL ls posslble Lo be a aood
ChrlsLlan lf one dlsaarees wlLh Lhelr rellalon's Leachlnas on homosexuallLv. CaLhollcs are
abouL as llkelv as oLher rellalous aroups Lo sav vou can sLlll be a aood CaLhollc even lf
vou dlsaaree wlLh offlclal church Leachlnas on aborLlon (68°), and Lhev are slanlflcanLlv
more llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral populaLlon Lo sav Lhe same abouL Lhe lssue of
homosexuallLv (74°).
kat|ng Þ|aces of Worsh|p on the|r nand||ng of Abort|on &
nomosexua||ty
Amona Amerlcans who ldenLlfv wlLh a rellalous falLh, a ma[orlLv overall alve Lhelr
places of worshlp hlah marks (elLher an 'A' or '8') on how Lhev handle Lhe lssues of
aborLlon (38°) and homosexuallLv (33°). WhlLe evanaellcals are mosL llkelv Lo alve Lhelr
churches hlah marks for how Lhev are handllna Lhe lssue of aborLlon (68°) and
homosexuallLv (67°). Ma[orlLles of black ÞroLesLanLs also alve Lhelr churches hlah marks
for handllna aborLlon (32°) and homosexuallLv (34°).
Cn Lhe oLher hand, less Lhan half of whlLe malnllne ÞroLesLanLs and CaLhollcs alve
Lhelr places of worshlp hlah marks on elLher lssue. lorLv-nlne percenL of whlLe malnllne
ÞroLesLanLs alve Lhelr churches hlah marks on Lhelr handllna of aborLlon, and nearlv
ldenLlcal numbers alve Lhelr churches hlah marks on Lhelr handllna of homosexuallLv
(48°). Amona CaLhollcs, 49° alve hlah marks Lo Lhelr churches for how Lhev handle Lhe
lssue of aborLlon, buL onlv 42° alve Lhelr churches hlah marks for handllna Lhe lssue of
homosexuallLv. CaLhollcs are more llkelv Lhan oLher rellalous aroups Lo alve Lhelr
churches low marks for handllna boLh lssues. AbouL 1-ln-4 CaLhollcs alve Lhelr places of
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 33
worshlp low marks (elLher a 'u' or 'l') for Lhelr handllna of boLh Lhe lssue of aborLlon
(24°) and Lhe lssue of homosexuallLv (26°).
Amona CaLhollcs, 44° sav Lhe poslLlon of Lhe CaLhollc Church on Lhe lssue of
aborLlon ls Loo conservaLlve, 43° sav Lhe poslLlon of CaLhollc Church on Lhe lssue of
aborLlon ls abouL rlahL, and [usL 7° sav lL ls Loo llberal. Amona CaLhollcs who aLLend
worshlp servlces aL leasL once a week, less Lhan one-Lhlrd (31°) sav Lhe Church's
poslLlon ls Loo conservaLlve, whlle nearlv 6-ln-10 (39°) sav lL ls abouL rlahL. CaLhollcs
who sav Lhe poslLlon of CaLhollc Church on Lhe lssue of aborLlon ls Loo conservaLlve are
more llkelv Lo alve Lhe Church poor marks for how lL ls handllna Lhe lssue of aborLlon
Lhan CaLhollcs overall (37° Lo 24° respecLlvelv).
ke||g|ous Leaders and Þo||t|c|ans
More Lhan 6-ln-10 (61°) Amerlcans sav LhaL lL ls wrona for rellalous leaders Lo
aLLempL Lo publlclv pressure pollLlclans on Lhe lssue of aborLlon, compared Lo 33° who
sav LhaL lL ls rlahL for rellalous leaders Lo do Lhls. 1wo-Lhlrds of whlLe malnllne
ÞroLesLanLs (67°) and nearlv 6-ln-10 CaLhollcs (38°) and black ÞroLesLanLs (38°) sav lL
ls wrona for rellalous leaders Lo publlclv pressure pollLlclans on Lhe lssue of aborLlon.
Lven amona more pollLlcallv conservaLlve consLlLuencles, such as 8epubllcans (48°),
Amerlcans who ldenLlfv wlLh Lhe 1ea ÞarLv movemenL (49°), and whlLe evanaellcal
ÞroLesLanLs (49°), less Lhan half sav LhaL lL ls rlahL for rellalous leaders Lo aLLempL Lo
publlclv pressure pollLlclans on Lhe lssue of aborLlon. 1here are no slanlflcanL dlfferences
on Lhls quesLlon bv aae, educaLlon, or aender.
Public Religion Research Institute
34 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
Inf|uences on V|ews about Abort|on
1here are a number of facLors LhaL lnfluence aLLlLudes abouL aborLlon. uemoaraphlc
facLors llke educaLlon, lncome, aae, and race, rellalous facLors llke evanaellcal rellalous
afflllaLlon, frequencv of aLLendance, and vlews of Lhe 8lble, and pollLlcal characLerlsLlcs
llke parLv afflllaLlon and pollLlcal ldeoloav each are slanlflcanL lndependenL predlcLors of
vlews abouL aborLlon. ln addlLlon Lo Lhese well-known facLors, we LesLed slx new facLors
as predlcLors of vlews on Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon: holdlna a slLuaLlonallsL approach Lo
morallLv, havlna empaLheLlc LralLs, knowlna someone who has had an aborLlon, knowlna
someone who has a speclal needs chlld, seelna recenLlv an ulLrasound of a feLus, or
waLchlna Lelevlslon proarams feaLurlna vouna unmarrled women who are preananL or
who have vouna chlldren.
7

5|tuat|ona||st Approach to Mora||ty
Amerlcans who embrace a more slLuaLlonallsL eLhlc are much more llkelv Lo supporL
leaallzed aborLlon Lhan Lhose who favor a more prlnclple-based approach Lo moral
lssues. Amona Amerlcans who embrace a slLuaLlonallsL eLhlc, nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds (64°)
sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. ln conLrasL, amona Amerlcans who
embrace a prlnclple-based approach Lo morallLv, a plurallLv (49°) sav aborLlon should
be llleaal ln all or mosL cases, and onlv 46° sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL
cases.
Lmpathy and 5oc|a| ke|at|onsh|ps
1he survev conLalned four measures of self-reporLed openness Lo Lhe perspecLlves
and experlences of oLhers, alona wlLh measures of acLual relaLlonshlps, ln order Lo sorL
ouL how much a aeneral orlenLaLlon Lowards empaLhv and concreLe soclal relaLlonshlps
lnfluence vlews on aborLlon. We were parLlcularlv lnLeresLed ln Lhls aLLrlbuLe Lo LesL a
hvpoLhesls LhaL Mlllennlals, wlLh Lhe aae of Lhe lnLerneL and Lhelr dlverse frlendshlp

7
1he loalsLlc rearesslon model (noL shown) predlcLlna supporL for leaal aborLlon ln all or mosL cases lncluded Lhe
followlna baslc demoaraphlc, pollLlcal and rellalous covarlaLes: parLv afflllaLlon, educaLlon, aender, aae, pollLlcal
ldeoloav, rellalous aLLendance, lncome, race and eLhnlclLv, evanaellcal self-ldenLlflcaLlon, and vlews abouL Lhe
lnerrancv of Lhe 8lble. 1he model also lncluded Lhe followlna addlLlonal varlables Lo lndlcaLe respondenLs who know
someone who had an aborLlon (lrlendshlp LffecL), a bellef LhaL Lhlnas LhaL are rlahL or wrona depend on Lhe slLuaLlon
(SlLuaLlonallsL MorallLv LffecL), knowlna someone wlLh a speclal needs chlld (Speclal needs Chlldren LffecL), and self-
ldenLlfvlna as belna more empaLheLlc or open Lo Lhe vlews of oLhers (LmpaLhv LffecL). ln addlLlon Lo Lhls model, Lwo
separaLe models were run LhaL lncluded a varlable Lo lndlcaLe havlna seen one of M1v's reallLv shows (Lhe M1v
LffecL), and a varlable for Lhose who had recenLlv seen an ulLrasound. 1hese Lwo addlLlonal models were necessarv
because Lhese quesLlons were each asked of onlv half of Lhe sample and Lhus had Lo be run lndependenLlv of each
oLher.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 35
neLworks, mlahL score hlaher on Lhese aLLrlbuLes, and LhaL Lhev mlahL be relaLed Lo
vlews on aborLlon.
I/=1)">$
Across Lhe baLLerv of quesLlons relaLed Lo empaLhv, Lhere were few dlfferences
beLween Mlllennlals and Lhe aeneral populaLlon.
ln Lhe aeneral populaLlon, self-descrlpLlons of empaLheLlc LralLs Lurn ouL Lo be a poor
predlcLor of vlews on aborLlon. Amerlcans who descrlbe Lhemselves as belna verv open
Lo oLher polnLs of vlew and wllllna Lo Lrv Lo undersLand Lhe clrcumsLances of oLher
people lnlLlallv appear Lo be more llkelv Lo supporL leaal aborLlon Lhan Lhose who do
noL. Powever, Lhese dlfferences do noL hold up as lndependenL lnfluences when we
conLrol for oLher facLors.
J+'8*+C$2'/#'+#$K"'$"10$"1;$1+$%&'()*'+$
knowlna someone who has had an aborLlon, however, has a sLrona lnfluence on
vlews abouL aborLlon. More Lhan 6-ln-10 (61°) Amerlcans sav LhaL Lhev know someone
who has had an aborLlon, compared Lo 38° who sav Lhev do noL. WlLh Lhe excepLlon of
senlors, Lhere are no larae dlfferences beLween aae aroups, onlv 42° of senlors reporL
knowlna someone who has had an aborLlon.
Amona Lhose who know someone who has had an aborLlon, rouahlv Lwo-Lhlrds
(64°) sav Lhls ls someone ln Lhelr own aeneraLlon. AbouL 1-ln-3 (22°) sav lL ls someone
ln anoLher aeneraLlon, and 13° sav Lhev know someone ln boLh Lhelr own and anoLher
aeneraLlon who has had an aborLlon.
1here are slanlflcanL dlfferences ln supporL for Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon beLween
Lhose who do and do noL know
someone who has had an
aborLlon. Amona Amerlcans who
sav Lhev know someone who has
had an aborLlon, abouL 6-ln-10
(61°) sav lL should be leaal ln all
or mosL cases. Amona Lhose who
do noL know someone, less Lhan
half (49°) sav aborLlon should be
leaal ln all or mosL cases.
1he experlence of knowlna
someone who has had an
aborLlon also has a sLrona
lnfluence on vlews abouL Lhe
avallablllLv of leaal aborLlon ln
local communlLles. nearlv Lwo
63
48
33
46
0
10
20
30
40
30
60
70
know someone who had
aboruon (n=1,833)
uo noL know someone
(n=1,1112)
Source: Mlllennlals, 8ellalon & Aboruon Survev, Mav
2011 (n=3,000)
Ava||ab|||ty of Lega| Abornon |n
¥our Cwn Commun|ty
?es, should be avallable no, should noL be avallable
Public Religion Research Institute
36 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
Lhlrds (63°) of Lhose who know someone who has had an aborLlon sav aL leasL some
healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr local communlLles should provlde leaal aborLlons,
compared Lo onlv 48° of Lhose who do noL know someone who has had an aborLlon.
J+'8*+C$2'/#'+#$8*)"$1$2=#-*13$L##;0$,"*3;$
1here ls no relaLlonshlp beLween Lhose who know someone wlLh a dlsabled or
speclal needs chlld and vlews on Lhe leaallLv of aborLlon. knowlna someone wlLh a
dlsabled or speclal needs chlld also has no lmpacL on vlews abouL wheLher lL should be
posslble for a woman Lo obLaln an aborLlon lf Lhere ls a sLrona chance of serlous defecL
ln Lhe babv.
U|trasound Images
nearlv 6-ln-10 (38°) Amerlcans sav Lhev have recenLlv seen an ulLrasound lmaae,
elLher over emall, ln a prlnLouL or on lacebook. ?ounaer Amerlcans are slanlflcanLlv
more llkelv Lhan older Amerlcans Lo reporL seelna an ulLrasound. nearlv Lwo-Lhlrds
(64°) of Mlllennlals and 69° of Amerlcans aae 30-49 sav Lhev have recenLlv seen an
ulLrasound, compared Lo onlv 33° of Amerlcans aae 63+.
When no oLher varlables are conLrolled for, Amerlcans who have recenLlv seen an
ulLrasound lmaae do noL dlffer from Lhe aeneral publlc ln Lhelr vlews abouL Lhe leaallLv
of aborLlon. Llke Lhe aeneral populaLlon, 36° of Lhose who have seen an ulLrasound
lmaae sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases. Powever, when we applled
oLher demoaraphlc conLrols ln order Lo undersLand Lhe lsolaLed effecL of seelna an
ulLrasound lmaae, we flnd a modesL buL slanlflcanL neaaLlve lmpacL on supporL for leaal
aborLlon. ln oLher words, Amerlcans who have recenLlv seen an ulLrasound are less
llkelv Lo sav aborLlon should be leaal ln all or mosL cases Lhan Lhose who have noL.
Mov|es and 1e|ev|s|on
Movles and Lelevlslon shows abouL vouna preananL women or vouna unwed
moLhers have a modesL buL slanlflcanL lmpacL on vlews abouL Lhe leaallLv and morallLv
of aborLlon. Cverall, vounaer Amerlcans are far more llkelv Lhan older Amerlcans Lo
reporL havlna seen a Lelevlslon show or a movle abouL Lhls Loplc. Amona Mlllennlals,
more Lhan 7-ln-10 (71°) reporL havlna seen a movle or 1v show abouL Leenaae
preanancv. Amona senlors aae 63 and up, fewer Lhan one-Lhlrd (31°) reporL havlna
seen movles or shows LhaL feaLure Lhese Lhemes. 8ouahlv 1-ln-3 (17°) Amerlcans,
lncludlna nearlv 3-ln-10 (29°) Mlllennlals, reporL havlna seen one of M1v's Lwo popular
reallLv shows on Lhls Loplc: º16 and ÞreananL" or º1een Mom."
Amerlcans who have seen M1v's shows º1een Mom" or º16 and ÞreananL" are
slanlflcanLlv more llkelv Lhan Lhe aeneral publlc Lo sav LhaL aborLlon should be leaal ln all
or mosL cases (63° vs. 36° of Lhe publlc) and Lo sav LhaL havlna an aborLlon ls morallv
accepLable (48° vs. 40° of Lhe publlc). 1hev are also nearlv Lwlce as llkelv as Lhose who
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 37
have noL seen Lhese shows Lo sav LhaL aL leasL some healLh care professlonals ln Lhelr
communlLles should provlde leaal aborLlons (63° vs. 34° respecLlvelv).
Myths and Iacts about Inf|uences on Abort|on
1he analvsls above allows us Lo sorL ouL facLors LhaL are lndependenL predlcLors of
aLLlLudes on aborLlon. Cf Lhe slx facLors LesLed, four have a slanlflcanL effecL and Lwo
are noL slanlflcanL. Amona Lhe slanlflcanL facLors, Lhree have a poslLlve slanlflcanL effecL
on supporL for aborLlon belna leaal ln all or mosL cases: holdlna a slLuaLlonallsL vlew of
morallLv, knowlna someone who has had an aborLlon, and havlna seen elLher of M1v's
Lwo reallLv shows feaLurlna vouna unmarrled women who are preananL or who have
vouna chlldren. Cne lLem has a neaaLlve slanlflcanL effecL on supporL for aborLlon belna
leaal ln all or mosL cases: recenLlv seelna an ulLrasound lmaae of a feLus. llnallv, Lwo
lLems had no slanlflcanL effecL: self-ldenLlfvlna as belna empaLheLlc and knowlna
someone wlLh a speclal needs chlld.

Independent Inf|uences on 5upport for Lega| Abort|on
Iacts vs. Myths


1heory
nypothes|zed D|rect|on of
Inf|uence on 5upport for
Lega| Abort|on


I|nd|ng
2*).1)*'+13*0)$9'(13*)>$I55#-)$
=>"03&!).*.%&#?*#&"!*0&%#.*$$,"*-5.#".@",*0&#AB.
ÞoslLlve lacL - SlanlflcanL effecL
M(*#+;0"*=$I55#-)$
(knowlna someone who has had an aborLlon)
ÞoslLlve lacL - SlanlflcanL effecL
9!<$I55#-)$
(Pavlna seen elLher of M1v's proarams feaLurlna vouna
unmarrled women who are preananL or who have vouna
chlldren)
ÞoslLlve lacL - SlanlflcanL effecL
N3)(10'.+;$I55#-)$
(Seelna recenLlv an ulLrasound lmaae of a feLus)
neaaLlve lacL - SlanlflcanL effecL
$
I/=1)">$I55#-)$
(Amerlcans who self-ldenLlfv as belna empaLheLlc or open
Lo Lhe vlews of oLhers)
ÞoslLlve MvLh - no effecL
2=#-*13$L##;0$,"*3;(#+$I55#-)$
(knowlna someone wlLh a speclal needs or dlsabled chlld)
neaaLlve MvLh - no effecL
Public Religion Research Institute
38 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality

Append|x 1. 5urvey Methodo|ogy
1he survev was deslaned and conducLed bv Þubllc 8ellalon 8esearch lnsLlLuLe and
funded bv Lhe lord loundaLlon. 8esulLs of Lhe survev were based on blllnaual (Spanlsh
and Lnallsh) Lelephone lnLervlews conducLed beLween Aprll 22, 2011 and Mav 8, 2011,
bv professlonal lnLervlewers under Lhe dlrecLlon of ulrecLlons ln 8esearch. lnLervlews
were conducLed bv Lelephone amona a random sample of 3,000 adulLs 18 vears of aae
or older ln Lhe conLlnenLal unlLed SLaLes, lncludlna 730 respondenLs who were
lnLervlewed on a cell phone. 1he flnal sample was welahLed Lo ensure proper
represenLaLlveness.
1he welahLlna was accompllshed ln Lwo sLaaes. 1he flrsL sLaae of welahLlna
correcLed for dlfferenL probablllLles of selecLlon assoclaLed wlLh Lhe number of adulLs ln
each household and each respondenL's Lelephone usaae paLLerns. ln Lhe second sLaae,
sample demoaraphlcs were balanced bv form Lo maLch LaraeL populaLlon parameLers
for aender, aae, educaLlon, race and Plspanlc eLhnlclLv, realon (u.S. Census deflnlLlons),
populaLlon denslLv and Lelephone usaae. 1he populaLlon denslLv parameLer was derlved
from Census 2000 daLa. 1he Lelephone usaae parameLer came from an analvsls of Lhe
!ulv-uecember 2009 naLlonal PealLh lnLervlew Survev. All oLher welahLlna parameLers
were derlved from an analvsls of Lhe Census 8ureau's 2009 Annual Soclal and Lconomlc
SupplemenL (ASLC) daLa.
1he sample welahLlna was accompllshed uslna Sample 8alanclna, a speclal lLeraLlve
sample-welahLlna proaram LhaL slmulLaneouslv balances Lhe dlsLrlbuLlons of all
varlables. WelahLs were Lrlmmed Lo prevenL lndlvldual lnLervlews from havlna Loo much
lnfluence on Lhe flnal resulLs. 1he use of Lhese welahLs ln sLaLlsLlcal analvsls ensures LhaL
Lhe demoaraphlc characLerlsLlcs of Lhe sample closelv approxlmaLe Lhe demoaraphlc
characLerlsLlcs of Lhe LaraeL populaLlons.
1he maraln of error ls +/- 2.0° for Lhe aeneral sample aL Lhe 93° confldence
lnLerval. ln addlLlon Lo sampllna error, survevs mav also be sub[ecL Lo error or blas due
Lo quesLlon wordlna, conLexL, and order effecLs.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 39

1he Lable below alves sample slzes and maralns of error for selecLed subaroups.

5amp|e 5|ze & Marg|ns of Lrror
Ior 5e|ected 5ubgroups
Group
5amp|e 5|ze
(N)
Marg|n of Lrror
(+/- Þercentage Þo|nts)
Genera| Þub||c 3,000 2.0

G#3*C*'+$
WhlLe Lvanaellcal ÞroLesLanLs 708 3.3
WhlLe Malnllne ÞroLesLanLs 307 4.3
All CaLhollcs 612 4.0
:45&#(.9*#5"0&-%. 434 4.3
:;*#&!".9*#5"0&-%. 119 9.0
8lack ÞroLesLanLs 192 7.0
unafflllaLed 396 4.0

%C#$
18-29 431 4.3
30-49 840 3.3
30-64 937 3.0
63+ 727 3.3

Public Religion Research Institute
40 — Committed to Availability, Conflicted about Morality
About Þub||c ke||g|on kesearch Inst|tute
Þub||c ke||g|on kesearch Inst|tute (ÞkkI) ls a nonproflL, nonparLlsan research and
educaLlon oraanlzaLlon speclallzlna ln work aL Lhe lnLersecLlon of rellalon, values, and
publlc llfe.
lor a full llsL of recenL pro[ecLs, see our research paae:
hLLp://www.publlcrellalon.ora/research/
Þ88l also malnLalns a llvelv onllne presence on lacebook and 1wlLLer:
hLLp://www.facebook.com/publlcrellalon
hLLp://www.LwlLLer.com/publlcrellalon

About the Authors
kobert Þ. Iones, Þh.D.
,I?.
ur. !ones ls a leadlna scholar ln boLh academlc and publlc pollcv clrcles. Pe ls Lhe
auLhor Lwo books and numerous peer-revlew arLlcles on rellalon and publlc pollcv. Pe
wrlLes weeklv aL ºllaurlna lalLh," a feaLured 4*%5&!)#"!.+"%# Cn lalLh bloa. 8oberL ls
one of slx members of Lhe naLlonal sLeerlna commlLLee for Lhe 8ellalon and ÞollLlcs
SecLlon aL Lhe Amerlcan Academv of 8ellalon and ls an acLlve member of Lhe Amerlcan
ÞollLlcal Sclence AssoclaLlon, Lhe SocleLv of ChrlsLlan LLhlcs, and Lhe Amerlcan
AssoclaLlon of Þubllc Cplnlon 8esearch. Pe holds a Þh.u. ln rellalon from Lmorv
unlverslLv, where he speclallzed ln socloloav of rellalon, pollLlcs, and rellalous eLhlcs. Pe
also holds an M.ulv. from SouLhwesLern 8apLlsL 1heoloalcal Semlnarv.
8efore foundlna Þ88l, 8oberL worked as a consulLanL and research fellow aL several
Lhlnk Lanks ln WashlnaLon, uC, and served as asslsLanL professor of rellalous sLudles aL
Mlssourl SLaLe unlverslLv. Pe ls a souahL afLer speaker, and he ls frequenLlv feaLured ln
naLlonal medla ouLleLs lncludlna nÞ8, Cnn, newsweek, uSA 1odav, 1he WashlnaLon
ÞosL, 1he new ?ork 1lmes, and 1he Los Anaeles 1lmes.
Public Religion Research Institute
Millennials, Religion, & Abortion Survey — 41
Dan|e| Cox
F*(#-)'($'5$G#0#1(-"$
ulrecLor of 8esearch and co-founder of Þ88l, uan also brlnas a wealLh of experLlse Lo
Þ88l pro[ecLs. Þrlor Lo [olnlna Þ88l, he served as 8esearch AssoclaLe aL Lhe Þew lorum
on 8ellalon & Þubllc Llfe, where he worked on Lhe core research Leam for a number of
survevs, lncludlna Lhe aroundbreaklna 8ellalous Landscape Survev, one of Lhe laraesL
publlc oplnlon survevs on rellalon ever conducLed. uan speclallzes ln vouLh pollLlcs and
rellalon, and hls work has appeared ln numerous naLlonal news and rellalous
publlcaLlons lncludlna Lhe C(D.E",8.F&@(%G./79.C(D%G.9CCG.C(D%D((8G.and 4",03.
6*)*H&!(.
uan holds an M.A. ln Amerlcan aovernmenL from CeoraeLown unlverslLv and a 8.A.
ln pollLlcal sclence from unlon Colleae. Pe ls an acLlve member of Lhe Amerlcan
AssoclaLlon of Þubllc Cplnlon 8esearch.
kache| Laser, ID
,'+0.3)1+)$
8achel ls a consulLanL Lo varlous naLlonal nonproflLs and Lhlnk Lanks ln WashlnaLon,
uC. 8efore becomlna a consulLanL, 8achel worked as ulrecLor of Lhe CulLure Þroaram aL
1hlrd Wav. Per proaram focused on flndlna shared values and common around pollcv on
Lhe mosL dlvlslve culLural lssues of our Llmes. Whlle aL 1hlrd Wav, 8achel helped drafL
and lnLroduce a pro-llfe, pro-cholce aborLlon blll ln Conaress and [olned LoaeLher
cenLrlsL evanaellcal ChrlsLlans wlLh proaresslves Lo supporL Lhe blll. Þrlor Lo her Llme aL
1hlrd Wav, 8achel served as senlor counsel ln Lhe PealLh and 8eproducLlve 8lahLs aroup
aL Lhe naLlonal Women's Law CenLer. 8achel also served as Ceneral Counsel for Þlanned
ÞarenLhood MeLropollLan WashlnaLon. 8achel araduaLed from Parvard unlverslLv ln
1991, where she founded Lhe Parvard Women's CenLer, and Lhe unlverslLv of Chlcaao
Law School ln 1993, where she was on Lhe sLaff of Lhe 1!&'(,%&#A."2.95&-*)".;*D.I('&(D.
When 8achel ls noL worklna, she ls soaklna ln Lhe alorv of Llme spenL wlLh her 12- and
13-vear-old dauahLers, 10-vear-old son, and husband.

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