Survey shows monthly church attendees’ abortion attitudes. Here are their most common views.

The Family Research Council’s Center for a Biblical Worldview recently released the results of a survey conducted in June 2023. Just over one thousand adults who attend a worship service at a Christian church either in-person or online at least once a month were surveyed about social and worldview issues, including abortion.

Of those surveyed, 71% said they desired their churches to offer additional worldview training on abortion and the value of life, with 44% reporting that this would be very desirable. 

But views on abortion varied. Thirty-six percent (36%) of respondents indicated they are “pro-life, with some exceptions or limitations,” 27% said they are “pro-life, without exceptions or limitations.” Fourteen percent (14%) identified as “pro-choice, with some exceptions or limitations” and 8% claimed to be “pro-choice, without exceptions or limitations.” Five percent did not know where they stand on the issue of abortion.

Regarding the biblical teaching on abortion, respondents had divergent opinions. According to the survey:

The most common view, held by one-third (35%) of churchgoers, is that abortion is not acceptable under any circumstances. Slightly more than half as many (19%) believe the Bible says abortion is acceptable only when the life of the mother is endangered.

Other views included believing the Bible says determining whether or not to have an abortion is up to the couple involved (10%), abortion is acceptable if the child will be born with significant physical or mental challenges (7%), that abortion is acceptable under any circumstances (6%).

One-quarter of respondents ducked the question, with one out of seven saying the Bible offers none of those perspectives (14%) and one-tenth saying they don’t know what the Bible teaches on this subject (9%).

Similarly, regarding the biblical teaching on the beginning of life, 65% of respondents said the Bible identifies when life begins, while 21% said it doesn’t and another 13% said they were uncertain. Fifty-two percent (52%) of those who said the Bible pinpoints when life begins identified fertilization as the starting point. 


Influencing respondents’ views on abortion and the value of life were several factors, but the majority (71%) said the primary influence was their moral and religious beliefs. Equal percentages (11%) said that their political and policy considerations or public preferences and opinions influenced their opinions on abortion. Another 8% said they did not know what was influencing their abortion positions.

Forty-four percent (44%) of those polled said their church had “provided a sermon or teaching about abortion in a weekend worship service” over the past year. Fifty-four (54%) of Catholics answered that they had received such guidance, while only 38% of Protestants answered likewise.

Along the same lines, 31% said they would like their churches to address this topic more often, while 13% said they would prefer it addressed less often. According to the survey, “adults most interested in getting such sermons more often were those who attend Catholic churches (41%), while adults aligned with mainline churches were the least interested in increasing the number or frequency of sermons on abortion (24%).”

Regarding church support for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, “(58%) said they want their church to do more than it currently does,” 6% said they wanted their churches to do less, and 29% said they wanted their churches to maintain the status quo.

According to the poll, “About one out of every six churched adults (16%) admitted to having ever paid for, encouraged, or chosen to have an abortion.”

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