According to a new survey by Pew Research, Unitarian Universalists are the strongest proponents of legal abortion, and Jehovah’s Witnesses the least supportive.
About 90% of Unitarians support abortion, beating out even atheists at 87%, though the difference is within the margin of predictive error of the 2017 survey. The variations in spiritual beliefs between many Unitarians and atheists is also not large.
The remaining top five groups with the most supporters are agnostics (87%), Jews (83%), and Buddhists (82%).
The top five least supportive groups are Jehovah’s Witnesses (18%), Church of God (29%), Assemblies of God (26%), Church of the Nazarene (27%), and Mormons (27%).
Except for Jehovah’s Witnesses, support for abortion is thus at least about 1 in 4 or larger, averaging 57% across all Americans.
Mainline Protestants in the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the United Methodist Church all admit to favoring abortion at rates greater than the national average.
This is contrasted with traditional Evangelical churches, such as the Southern Baptist Convention and Churches of Christ and those already mentioned, all of which have less support than the average.
Members of the Roman Catholic Church support legal abortion at 48%.
Pew has also compiled the official teachings on abortion from each of the religious groups. It is of interest to contrast these with what members of each group profess.
That nearly half of Catholics support legal abortion is most remarkable because the Catholic Church, alone among other groups, opposes abortion in all circumstances. The correct number of supporters, assuming parishioners are attentive to the Church’s formal rules, should be zero. The enormous discrepancy in practice can only be the result of a “law on the books” Catholic priests and bishops are largely happy to ignore.
Finally are those groups who endorse legal abortion in all or most cases. Most mainline Protestant churches support abortion, giving only small to tepid caveats and warning the women who want to kill their offspring to first consider the matter deeply and seriously.
The Episcopal Church is a fair representative. It says “All human life is sacred from its inception until death”, and it admits the killing has a “tragic dimension”. But then it allows abortion “should be used only in extreme situations.” This leaves its members plenty of leeway in deciding what “extreme” means. As long as “individual conscience is respected”, the Episcopal Church says go ahead.
Three out of four surveyed would click here and read the rest.