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The Abortion Statistics Surrounding American Millennials That Might Surprise You


"How well do the terms 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' describe you?"

Young Americans' views on abortion are complex, though they tend to mirror the opinions of the public at large, according to new research from the Public Religion Research Institute.

Thirty-three percent of millennials — individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 — believe that abortion should be legal in most cases, though 27 percent believe that the procedure should be illegal the majority of the time.

In between these two paradigms, there are 22 percent who say that abortion should be legal in all cases, with 15 percent calling for it to be illegal in every instance, according to the data. And millennials are divided when it comes to "pro-choice" and "pro-life" labels:

Public Religion Research Institute

As for the general public, a 2014 Gallup poll found that 28 percent believed that abortion should be legal in any circumstance, 21 percent wanted it to be illegal in all circumstances and 50 percent called for it to be legal only in certain circumstances. 

Some, of course, might find the fact that millennials are on par with the general public surprising, though other polling firms have noted this dynamic in the past.

Interestingly, the most recent millennial poll observed no significant differences of opinion between men and women when it comes to abortion findings, though some notable differences come into play surrounding race and religious adherence.

Forty-nine percent of white Catholic millennials say that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, with 55 percent of Hispanic Catholics, 61 percent of Hispanic Protestants and 80 percent of White evangelical Protestants in agreement.

On the flip side, 61 percent of black Protestants and 63 percent of white mainline Protestants believe that it should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.

Eight in 10 unaffiliated millennials also believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

The polling firm's study, "How Race and Religion Shape Millennial Attitudes on Sexuality and Reproductive Health," also asked respondents about birth control, sex education and health insurance, among other subjects.

The poll was conducted among 2,314 adults between the ages of 18 and 35, with a margin of error of +/-2.7 percentage points. 

Read the complete results here.

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