A new poll by the Pew Research Center indicates a strong divide among Christian denominations on the issue of abortion.
Traditionally, Christians teach that every human life is sacred and valuable from the moment of conception to natural death. Yet, it appears that some denominations, especially mainline Protestant denominations, may not be teaching this.
According to Breitbart, a strong majority of Episcopalians, United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church U.S.A. adherents said abortions should be legal in all or most cases. The poll found that 58 percent of United Methodists and 56 percent of Anglicans also support legalized abortion in all or most cases.
In contrast, Catholic, American Baptist and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod believers narrowly said abortions should be illegal in all or most cases. The Christians who most strongly opposed the legalized killing of unborn babies identified as Jehovah’s Witness, Church of God, Assemblies of God, Mormon and Southern Baptist, according to the poll.
Examining other religions as well, the poll found that 55 percent of Muslims support legalized abortion in all or most cases, 68 percent of Hindus, 82 percent of Buddhists and 83 percent of Jewish adherents. At the top of the list in support of legalized abortion on demand were agnostics and atheists (both at 87 percent) and Unitarian Universalists at 90 percent.
The poll also included a “nothing in particular” category for people who do not identify with a particular religion. In that category, 67 percent of people said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Overall, the poll found that 57 percent of Americans support legal abortion in all or most cases.
However, other polls have found different results. A Marist poll in January found that 76 percent of Americans want significant restrictions on abortion, with a strong majority supporting a ban on abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain.
More than three quarters of Americans would limit abortion to the first three months of pregnancy, at most, according to the Marist poll. This includes a majority of Republicans, Independents, Democrats and even those who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.
A 2017 Gallup poll found similar results, with just 29 percent of Americans saying abortion should be legal under any circumstance. In contrast, 54 percent of Americans said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances or legal in only a few.
What many Americans may not realize is that the United States is one of only seven countries in the world that permits elective abortions past 20 weeks — a fact confirmed by the Washington Post fact checker.