Last week, we posted the above graphic to our social media pages with the caption "In the United States, 23% of abortion opponents are Catholic and 12% have no religious affiliation. We are proud to stand with our pro-life brothers and sisters of all faith backgrounds to end the violence of abortion!"
We got a ton of likes and shares, and also questions. Mostly, "Wait, what about the other 65%?" and "Where are all the Protestants?"
We did not, of course, mean to suggest that pro-life movement is made up entirely of Catholics and secular people. It's far more diverse than that. We simply found the two-to-one statistic interesting, in contrast to the oversized role that Catholicism has played in the pro-choice imagination (e.g. "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!").
Our source is the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life, and if you're as nerdy as I am, you could get lost in that data set for hours. But I won't keep you in suspense. The religious makeup of Americans who say abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances* is:
- 38% Evangelical Protestant
- 23% Catholic
- 12% Unaffiliated
- 12% Mainline Protestant
- 6% Historically Black Protestant
- 3% Mormon
- 1% Jewish
- 1% Muslim
- 1% Orthodox Christian
- 1% Jehovah's Witness
- 1% Other Faiths
Ironically, the godless approach may offer the best chance to unite these disparate factions into a cohesive movement for the human rights of the smallest and most vulnerable humans among us.
*Note: These figures add up to only 99% due to rounding.