Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Count Me Purple: Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Self-Identification of Many U.S. Christians

Fred Phelps Clark notes that a June 2011 poll by Public Religion Research Institute shows "a lot of purple" in its graph of pro-life and pro-choice responses: more than half of Catholics responding to PRRI call themselves both pro-life and pro-choice.

Fred writes,

My guess — and this is only a guess — is that this suggests a moral opposition to abortion along with a perhaps-reluctant acknowledgement that it nonetheless ought to remain a legal option. My guess is that these purple people would be approximately in favor of the old Clinton formula: safe, legal and rare — perhaps with an emphasis on the “rare.” Some might prefer to pursue making abortion more rare by introducing an increasing number of legal hurdles, obstacles and hindrances, but others may prefer to pursue making abortion more rare by empowering women to have a wider menu of viable, meaningful choices (living wages, health care, day care, etc.).

Count me purple. I definitely don't want to be defined as pro-life when that category means the precise opposite of everything I understand about respect for life--as I'm convinced it does for many pro-lifers both within the Catholic community and the evangelical community.

My profound apology to Fred Clark for writing "Fred Phelps" instead of Fred Clark's name at the top of this posting.  And thanks to Tim of the Following the Voice Within blog for pointing out my mistake.

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