Pew Research: Religious Affiliation Can Predict Most Views on Abortion | KLRT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan group that tracks people’s opinions on social and political issues. A poll on abortion-related topics found religious affiliation can reveal a group’s opinion on abortion.
A religious landscape study compiled data from 12 religions/belief systems. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and Evangelical Protestant Christians were among the most likely to think abortion should be illegal. Jews, Buddhists and non-religious people were among the most likely to think abortion should be legal.
Rabbi Barry Block leads Congregation B’Nai Israel in Little Rock. He said he was “devastated” when he learned of the leak of the first draft U.S. Supreme Court document that showed a majority of justices had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, which protects abortion at the federal level.
“Judaism, from the very beginning, did not view killing a fetus as murder,” Block said.
Pew Research showed that about 83% of American Jews think abortion should be legal in most cases. Block said it has been fundamental to the faith since even before Roe v. Wade is formulated.
“Judaism has always taught that the welfare of the pregnant person always takes precedence over that of the fetus,” Block said.
Pastor Ryan Rose works for Evangel Temple in Fort Smith, an Assembly of God church. Rose, a Republican running for a state representative seat, said abortion has become a key issue in Arkansas.
“I believe the word of God tells us that he knew us before we were born in the womb,” Rose said. “He counted the hairs on our head. We are all children of God. The same goes for those who simply could not be born.
Pew Research found that about 63% of Evangelical Protestant Christians think abortion should be illegal in most cases. Rose said Arkansans thoughts could be summed up in a familiar nickname.
“The term ‘The Bible Belt’ is used quite prolifically,” Rose said.
Research has indicated that Catholics, Muslims, and historically Black Protestants are relatively divided on abortion. Block said there are many faith groups in Arkansas and they may hold different opinions.
“They have the same right as us to practice their religion,” Block said.
Outliers exist throughout the state, as some evangelical Christians support the legal right to abortion, while some Jews believe abortion should be illegal.
Pew Research does not declare support for any policy issues, according to its website.
“We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis, and other data-driven social science research,” a post on the website said. “We don’t take political positions.”