Only 30% of Churchgoers Say Their Pastor or Priest Has Mentioned Abortion From the Pulpit

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 9, 2016   |   9:48AM   |   Washington, DC

Abortion is not an often-discussed issue in many religious services in America, but when it is, most clergy defend unborn babies’ right to life, a new survey found.

The Pew Research Center released a new poll on Monday that examined how often Americans hear about political issues from the pulpit. Abortion was third on the list, with religious liberty and homosexuality ranking first and second. Other issues included immigration, the environment and poverty.

According to the poll, 29 percent said their clergy member spoke out about abortion during a service. Most said their clergy spoke out against abortion (22 percent), while a few (3 percent) said their clergy spoke in support of abortion.

The poll also asked people if their clergy spoke about the presidential election or a specific candidate. According to the findings:

Fewer recent churchgoers (14%) say they heard their clergy speak directly in support of or against a specific presidential candidate in the months leading up to the survey. Black Protestants were particularly likely to hear this type of message: Among black Protestants who have been in church recently, roughly three-in-ten (29%) have heard clergy speak out in support of a candidate – mostly Hillary Clinton – and an equal share have heard religious leaders speak out against a candidate (primarily Donald Trump). Smaller shares of Catholic, white evangelical Protestant and white mainline Protestant churchgoers – roughly one-in-ten or fewer – say their clergy have publicly supported or opposed particular candidates.

The poll surveyed people who had been to a religious service at least once or twice in the past few months, according to Pew.



Some clergy tend to be reluctant to speak about abortion because it is a sensitive topic. However, there are many Protestant and Catholic religious leaders who are vocal advocates for the right to life of unborn babies.

Last year after the Center for Medical Progress began releasing its undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, dozens of Protestant religious leaders spoke up against the abortion giant. Catholic leaders have been vocal advocates against the abortion group, too.

Leading up to the presidential election, Catholic Church leaders also have been among the most vocal advocates against abortion. On Aug. 3, the head of the Knights of Columbus, Carl A. Anderson, boldly proclaimed that Catholics cannot vote for a presidential candidate who supports abortions.

“What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation? Abortion is different. Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale,” Anderson said. “We need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates. It is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians.”

Other Catholic leaders have stated publicly that they will not serve communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians such as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, Tim Kaine.