Younger Christians More Likely to See Abortion as Important

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2011   |   11:24AM   |   London, England

Mainstream media reports on abortion make it seem as if concern about abortion is fading, but new polling data shows that younger Christians are more likely than older believers to see abortion and euthanasia as important.

A new survey commissioned by Premier Christian Media and conducted by the ComRes polling agency in England, surveyed Christians of all ages and Christian denominations in Britain asking them to rate the issues in terms of how important they are to the respondent. The survey found pro-life and end of life issues were of greater concern to young people aged between 18-34 years compared with those over the age of 65.

Almost three quarters (69%) of young people surveyed believe abortion to be very important compared to just 31% of those over 65. Similarly, two-thirds (66%) of young people think euthanasia is a very important issue compared with just one-third (33 percent) of those over 65. The poll also found 60 percent of those between the ages of 35-44 say abortion is very important to them.

Women were more likely to say abortion is important — at a 56-44 percent clip compared with men.

“It’s fascinating to see that young people are concerned about pro-life and end of life issues,” said Martin Saunders, Editor of Youthwork magazine, in response to the survey. “This poll bucks the trend that perceives young people to be thoughtless.”

“The media perhaps has a part to play in shaping the perception we have of both groups,” Saunders continued. “Euthanasia has dominated the media recently, which has led many young people to be aware of the issue. It is encouraging to see that both groups are concerned about one another’s well-being and not solely on issues that affect their own age group.”

Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, also commented on the results, and said, “It is great to hear that a younger generation of Christians are passionate about life issues and understand so clearly that life is precious and that we are all made in the image of God. The survey gives me great hope for the future. I believe that the younger generation will take the baton and stand for truth and be a witness to the nation.”

ComRes surveyed 529 UK Christians on Cpanel between July 6 and July 18 and data were weighted by denomination to reflect the composition of the UK Christian population according to the 2005 Church Census.

The results of this new survey follow on the heels of three polls from earlier this year showing young adults are pro-life.

Based on interviews with 3,000 adults, the Public Religion Research Institute found that Americans, regardless of generation, believe abortion is morally wrong — but young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 agree with that conclusion as well. The survey found 52 percent of Americans say abortions are morally wrong.

A late May Gallup poll found Americans want all or most abortions made illegal and saying they believe abortion to be morally wrong.

By a 24 percent margin, 61-37 percent, Americans take the pro-life view that abortions should either be legal under no circumstances or legal only under a few circumstances. Although Gallup doesn’t specify those “few” circumstances, polling data has consistently shown that, when asked about cases such as rape,  incest, or the life of the mother, a majority of Americans want all or almost all abortions made illegal — leaving only life of the mother or rape and incest as the exceptions.

By age, Americans also oppose abortions — with 59 percent of people aged 18-34, 58 percent of those 35-54 and 64 percent of those over the age of 55 saying all or almost all abortions should become illegal. Younger Americans are most supportive of making all abortions illegal, with 24 percent of 18-34 year-olds saying so and 35 percent saying they want abortions legal only in a few circumstances.

Meanwhile, a new poll conducted by Thomson Reuters for NPR shows asked “do you personally believe having an abortion is wrong” and 59.3 percent of Americans polled said yes compared with just 40.7 percent who said no. The youngest age category of those polled, under 35, gave the most pro-life responses with 65.5 percent saying that having an abortion is wrong.