A new Public Religion Research Institute poll reports that 75 percent of Latino Catholics polled say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. These results came after the United States Supreme Court controversially overturned Roe v. Wade, thus ending a constitutional right to abortion. Interestingly, when this same question was asked in 2010, only 51 percent of Latino Catholics felt this way.
In a piece for the National Catholic Reporter, Alejandra Molina interviewed several Catholics of Latin-American descent to find out where they stand on this issue. Molina discovered that Latin-Americans are much more accepting of abortion rights than other demographics. Molina writes:
By contrast, a quarter of white evangelicals support legal abortion after the Roe reversal. Almost all white evangelical respondents said they’d like to see abortion banned after 15 weeks, and more than half said providing an abortion should be a felony.
The survey found Catholic, Black Protestant, non-Christian and unaffiliated Americans are more supportive of abortion rights than white evangelicals. Latino Catholics (13%) were among the least likely religious groups to say they look to religious leaders for guidance on abortion. That’s compared to the 38% of white evangelicals who do so. The survey also found that 32% of Latino Catholics said their religious faith dictates their views on abortion, compared to 73% of white evangelical Protestants.
The survey of 2,038 Americans, which used the Ipsos online panel, was conducted from June 24 to June 26 and was put in the field right after the announcement of the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe. It included 241 Latinos, with 104 who identified as Catholic. The goal was to get an immediate response from the public.
The PRC survey found that nearly all white evangelicals are for some restrictions on abortion. It also determined that white evangelicals are much more likely to look to their religion for guidance on abortion. Latino Catholics were among the least likely to say they look to religious leaders for guidance on the issue. Molina continued:
PRRI’s chief executive officer, Melissa Deckman, said Latino Catholics are very much aligned with other religious people of color in their support for abortion rights.
To Deckman, it’s noteworthy that Latino Catholics have become even more supportive of abortion rights than Catholics who are white. Among the survey’s white Catholic participants, 62% said they are opposed to the Supreme Court overturning Roe. That’s compared to the 72% of Latino Catholics who said the same.
“We know that age is a big differentiator when it comes to attitudes on abortion for Americans overall, but clearly, I think it’s helping drive more support for abortion among Latinos,” Deckman said.
“We now have a situation where abortion is no longer a constitutional right, and access to abortion care is becoming more limited in a lot of areas,” Deckman added. “I think that’s led younger people to become more supportive of abortion rights in general.”
Researchers suggested that perhaps age difference is behind the disparity between white and Latino Catholics. The survey shows that while Latino Catholics are still religious, they do not let their religion mix with their politics.