English-Speaking Hispanics More Likely Pro-Abortion Than Spanish Speakers
by Steven Ertelt
August 10, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll reveals some concerns for the pro-life movement about an ethnic group that has been relied on for solid opposition to abortion. The survey shows English-speaking Hispanics are less likely to oppose legalized abortion than their Spanish-speaking counterparts.
The survey results make it appear that "Americanized" Hispanics are losing the cultural and religious values that prompt Latinos in Central and South America to oppose abortion in large numbers.
The Associated Press and Univision teamed up for a poll of 1,500 Hispanics conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
The survey found Latinos support abortion in much lower numbers than Americans overall, with 39 percent saying abortions should be legal compared with 51 percent of the general population in a 2009 poll AP conducted.
But when Hispanics are examined as a group, 49 percent of those who mainly speak English said abortions should be legal in most cases while just 31 percent of those who mainly speak Spanish say most abortions should be legal.
Martha De Leon, 26, a stay-at-home mother of three from Mercedes, Texas, told AP she is one of the younger Hispanics who still retains the pro-life values of her parents and grandparents’ generations.
"That’s taking somebody’s life away," she told AP about abortion. "That’s taking away the life of a child."
In a related question that identifies the changing values in the Hispanics community, the AP-Univision poll found English-speaking Catholics are much less likely than their Spanish-speaking counterparts to identify as Catholics, which could be affecting their declining pro-life principles.
Overall, the poll found 62 percent of Hispanics identify as Catholic; but just 55 percent of Latinos 18 to 29 say they are Catholic compared with 80 percent of those 65 and over.
Some of the Hispanics who have moved away from the Catholic Church have been active Protestants and evangelicals — and the AP poll showed their pro-life values have not changed — but a large number are now nonpracticing Catholics who attend no church regularly and they are the Latinos who are less likely to be pro-life.
Still, the poll found some good news for the pro-life movement, as Hispanics, who were sold on the candidacy of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, are less likely to support him now.
Just 43 percent of Hispanics said in the AP-Univision poll that Obama is adequately addressing their needs, while 32 percent were undecided and 21 percent say he’s doing a bad job as president.
Still, 57 percent of Hispanics approve of the president’s overall job performance compared with 44 percent among the general population in the latest AP national polling.
With projections saying Hispanics will double their percentage of the American population to 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2050, the Hispanic community could have a major affect on the outcome of abortion policy and the election of presidents and lawmakers who will decide it.
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