Millennials Across the United States are More Likely to Identify as Pro-life Than Previous Generations
Feb. 8, 2016
The nation has seen a 12 percent decline in abortions, according to a recent study published in the Associated Press. Improvements in pro-life attitudes are reflected in these encouraging statistics and show the rising popularity of alternatives to abortion among millennials.
The study shows the decline is nearly equal in both the most pro-life and pro-choice states.
The decline in the least pro-life states:
Vermont – Down 9%
New York – Down 15%
Connecticut – Down 21%
New Jersey – Does not collect abortion data
Montana – Down 18%
Washington – Down 17%
Oregon – Down 18%
Nevada – Down 22%
California – Does not collect abortion data
Hawaii – Down 30%
The decline in the most pro-life states:
North Dakota – Down 8%
Nebraska – Down 8%
Kansas – Down 13%
Missouri – Down 18%
Indiana – Down 20%
Oklahoma – Down 19%
Arkansas – Down 6%
Texas – Down 12%
Mississippi – Down 6%
Louisiana – Up 12%
This summer, in an article for the Boston Globe entitled American Millennials Rethink Abortion, For Good Reasons, author Jeff Jacoby explained some of the reasoning behind these trends. One factor is “an empathy-driven reaction” that views abortion negatively because of improvements in medical technology such as vivid ultrasound images, which humanize the issue of abortion.
Additionally, improvements in neonatal medicine have changed what constitutes a viable unborn baby. Jacoby explains that because of medical advances, babies born extremely prematurely are able to “survive and flourish,” whereas a generation ago survival might not have been possible.
Jacoby relates a statistic that may be surprising to many. Of all age groups, young adults are now the most likely to think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. That position connotes a very strong negative opinion of abortion that the majority of millennials share.
According to Students for Life of America, the Marist poll data shows that 59 percent think abortion is “morally wrong”; 58 percent think abortion “does more harm than good”; and 64 percent think the abortion rate is “higher than it should be.” In previous generations, those under the age of 30 were the most vocal proponents of abortion.
On a more personal level, today’s millennials have friends and family members who regret denying their children the chance at life. The Silent No More campaign calls this the Shockwaves of Abortion and has dedicated each month to the healing of various people who have been affected by abortion including the parents, grandparents, siblings, abortion providers, and others. Millennials may also be more hesitant to think about abortion positively simply because they have survived Roe v. Wade. Regardless of the motivations, the increasing support for the protection of the unborn and their right to life is a most encouraging trend.
Joshua Denton is a senior in college and works with the Indiana Family Institute in Indianapolis. Follow Joshua Denton on Twitter @1776Josh.