Study: Most Younger Christians Oppose Abortion

Younger Christians are largely opposed to abortion, a new study reports.

According to a Barna Group survey released Monday, 61 percent of 18- to 44-year-old born again Christians say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, compared with 55 percent of Christians older than age 45.

Unlike older believers, younger Christians were more likely to express strong views about abortion and less likely to say they are not sure of their position, the researchers found.

The findings are part of a report that shows most Americans take a moderate view on abortion. The phone survey of 1,0001 adults found that 49 percent of Americans believe abortion should remain legal in most cases while 42 percent say it should remain illegal in most cases.

A smaller percentage took a more polarizing view, with 15 percent wanting abortion to be legal in every situation and 19 percent wanting the practice to be banned in all cases. Nine percent of respondents said they weren't sure.

Evangelicals, atheists and agnostics held the strongest views on abortion and were the most inflexible in their opinions. Some 78 percent of Christians said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while 72 percent of atheists and agnostics support keeping the practice legal.  

Barna Group President David Kinnaman said the more moderate views on abortion may be due to the fact that other urgent political and social issues are causing cause some Americans to consider abortion less relevant. Joint efforts among pro-life and pro-choice groups to find common ground to reduce abortion and promote adoption reforms also may be contributing to the decreased vitriol, he added, though the effectiveness of those efforts remains in question.

But he said the pro-life views of younger Christians may indicate a need for new ways of addressing issues of abortion, life and choice, 

as Americans appear ready to rethink many different issues.

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