Chatting with Jack about the matter, though, I started thinking about what Catholics in the United States thought about abortion. I had made a post a few months back about how the different religious denominations responded to a question about gun control in one nationally representative survey. The survey, the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES), is run by Stephen Ansolabehere at Harvard University and is sponsored by several other universities. With around 30,000 respondents every run, the survey is a really great measure of political concerns.
So I checked out the last 3 available years of the CCES--2007, 2008, and 2010--to see how Catholics responded to the following question on abortion:
"Which one of the opinions on this page best agrees with your view on abortion?
- By law, abortion should never be permitted.
- The law should permit abortion only in case of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger.
- The law should permit abortion for reasons other than rape, incest, or danger to the woman's life, but only after the need for the abortion has been clearly established.
- By law, a woman should always be able to obtain an abortion as a matter of personal choice."
Here's what I got:
An interesting thing: both extremes (the "never" and "always" responses) have increased since 2007. But overall, the one that has been consistently increasing over the past three years has been the "always" response.
Just some food for thought.