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Religion and Abortion Attitudes Among U.S. Hispanics: Findings from the 1990 Latino National Political Survey

Christopher G. Ellison, Samuel Echevarría, Samuel Eschevarría and Brad Smith
Social Science Quarterly
Vol. 86, No. 1 (MARCH 2005), pp. 192-208
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42956057
Page Count: 17
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Religion and Abortion Attitudes Among U.S. Hispanics: Findings from the 1990 Latino National Political Survey
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Abstract

Objective. The goal of this article is to examine the relationship between religious involvement, gauged mainly in terms of affiliation and frequency of attendance at services, and abortion attitudes among three major Hispanic subgroups: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans. Method. The study analyzes data from the Latino National Political Survey, a sample of over 2,700 U.S. Hispanics completed in 1990. Results. Committed (i.e., regularly attending) Hispanic Protestants, most of whom belong to conservative groups, are more strongly pro-life than any other segment of the Latino population, and are much more likely than others to support a total abortion ban. Committed Catholics also tend to hold prolife views, but they are relatively more likely to endorse an abortion ban that includes exceptions for rape, incest, and threats to the mother's life. Less devoted Catholics and Protestants generally do not differ from religiously unaffiliated Hispanics in their abortion views. There are also modest variations in the links between religious involvement and abortion attitudes across the three Latino subgroups. Conclusion. Religious factors are highly important predictors of Hispanics' preferences regarding abortion policies. Contrary to some previous discussions, it is committed Protestants, more so than Catholics, who are the staunchest opponents of abortion in the Latino population.

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