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Op-Ed: No, Latino Christians Do Not Support Abortion

A September poll conducted for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and My Faith Votes tested attitudes toward abortion among Latino voters. Eighteen percent of Latino evangelicals indicated that a candidate’s position on abortion was of top concern to them. My Faith Votes, one of the largest organizations in America focused exclusively on the role of faith in U.S. elections, commissioned this survey. “We know our constituents and our communities, but we always want to be data-driven,” said Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes. “The survey reveals clearly that the faith vote in America is not only as strong as ever, but it is growing, and it is diversifying.” The majority, 55 percent, said they are less likely to vote for a congressional candidate who favors third-trimester abortion. Two-thirds of voting Hispanic evangelicals would limit abortion to cases of rape, incest or the mother’s life being in danger or not allow it at all. According to the poll, the majority of Hispanic evangelical voters say their faith in Jesus Christ influences their political beliefs or is a top factor. This poll shows that Hispanic evangelicals bring their faith to the ballot box, and it can help predict party voting intentions. It’s not just Hispanic evangelicals who oppose abortion. In the Latino community, those in the Roman Catholic Church are firmly in step with evangelicals regarding abortion issues. A survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in all 50 states found that among Hispanic Catholics, 52 percent believe abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. Our anecdotal and empirical findings refute a recent survey paid for in part by the pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America. Its survey of 800 Latino registered voters with a margin of error of 3.5 percent declared that Latino Catholics “overwhelmingly support abortion rights.” One of its “key findings” is that 71 percent of Latinos said they could not vote for a candidate who supports a “nationwide ban on abortions with no exceptions.” This finding mirrors the My Faith Votes poll, which shows that voting Hispanic evangelicals would either limit abortion to cases of rape, incest or the mother’s life being in danger or not allow it at all. In other words, the headline that Latinos “overwhelmingly” favor abortion is disingenuous. [firefly_poll] However, even if we were to accept the findings of the left-leaning NARAL poll, 29 percent of Latino voters who were not described as either evangelical or Catholic opposed abortion. In our work, we have found that many Catholics, when asked such questions, will try to claim a middle ground, stating, “I am personally against abortion, but I am pro-choice.” There is a misunderstanding that a person can be both. Either it is wrong to kill, or it is the prerogative of a mother to kill. Fr. William Saunders articulates the position well when he says, “The Roman Catholic Church from the beginning has consistently upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child and condemned the act of direct abortion. To oppose this teaching contradicts the revelation of Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition.” Pope John Paul II stated, “It is not possible to speak of the right to choose when a clear moral evil is involved, when what is at stake is the commandment ‘Do not kill!’” Invariably, in both evangelical and Catholic circles, most faith-holding Latinos do not support abortion, and most trustworthy polls support that view. Politicians wishing to serve and represent Hispanic communities would do well to respect our values of faith, family and life. Only then will they gain an audience among one of the most influential voting demographics in the country. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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