Pew Poll Finds President Barack Obama Turning Off Catholic Voters Over Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 7, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pew Poll Finds President Barack Obama Turning Off Catholic Voters Over Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 7
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — President Barack Obama made it to the White House in part because of Catholic voters. While they backed pro-abortion John Kerry with 47 percent of the vote, they provider a larger 54 percentage-point clip to Obama, who has rewarded them with a laundry list of pro-abortion decisions.

While Obama attempted to convince Catholic voters of his consanguineous relationship with them by saying he wanted to reduce abortions and advocating social justice positions, he’s only turning them off a Pew poll shows.

The Pew poll, which showed the most partisan divides between Republicans and Democrats over Obama’s approval rating since President Richard Nixon, also took into account Catholic opinion.

Between February and March of this year, Obama’s disapproval rating among all Americans rose from 17 to 26 percent. But, among Catholics, the figure shot up from 14% to 28% and from 20% to 41% among white Catholics.

"There is clearly something going on underneath in terms of the Catholic community in relationship to Obama," said Luis Lugo, head of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in response.

Scott Appleby, a professor of history at Notre Dame, who supports the University’s decision to allow Obama to speak there and to receive an honorary degree, pinpointed Obama’s problem as an abortion one.

"A lot of [Catholics] held their noses when they voted for Obama," he told the National Post. "What he has done since taking office has brought those concerns to the fore. His decision on life issues and the way he has communicated them have been deeply dissatisfying to Catholics who voted for him, including me."

Appleby told the newspaper that many Catholic voters believe Obama is "in the pocket of the abortion lobby."

"The vehemence you’re hearing comes from a kind of suspicion about him," he added.

"You begin to wonder how could a guy who’s so good on [other Catholic concerns] can be so unnuanced from a Catholic perspective on these fundamental life questions," he concluded. "I think the Obama administration should pay attention to this situation."

Since his election, President Obama has appointed a long list of abortion advocates, including staffers and board members of pro-abortion groups, to policy positions that would cover abortion issues.

During his first week in office, Obama overturn the Mexico City Policy and forced taxpayers to fund groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations.

He also overturned the limited President Bush put in place on funding new embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

And Obama has sent $65 million to the UNFPA, a United Nations agency condemned for supporting abortion and working hand-in-hand with population control officials in China who employ forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations to enforce its one-child-per-couple policy.

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