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In June 2004, Catholics for a Free Choice commissioned a survey of Catholic voters from Belden Russonello & Stewart. The survey included 2,239 Catholics who are likely voters, including an oversample of Hispanics (366 total Hispanics). Detailed below are findings on where Catholics stand on the issue of abortion in the upcoming election.

Catholics and Abortion
Catholic voters support legal abortion. They are more likely to call themselves prochoice than prolife on abortion.

Do you agree or disagree that abortion should be legal for a woman to have an abortion?

  Agree Disagree
All Catholics 61% 38%
Hispanics 62% 36%
Liberals 82% 18%
Moderates 68% 31%
Conservatives 42% 58%
Battleground States* 57% 42%


Do you generally think of yourself as prolife or prochoice on abortion?

  Prochoice Prolife
All Catholics 53% 45%
Hispanics 51% 46%
Liberals 74% 25%
Moderates 62% 37%
Conservatives 31% 67%
Battleground States 48% 50%


Catholics and Prochoice Politicians
With the exception of conservatives who frequently attend church, a majority of Catholic voters does not believe voters have a religious obligation to vote against candidates who support legal abortion.

Do you believe voters who are Catholic have a religious obligation to vote against candidates who support legal abortion?

  Yes No
All 24% 74%
White 24% 75%
Hispanics 25% 67%
Liberal Church-goers 6% 92%
Moderate Church-goers 26% 70%
Conservative Church-goers 45% 54%
Battleground States 24% 74%

Abortion is an all-important voting issue only to 27% of Catholic voters who say they would “definitely vote against” a candidate for president if the candidate had a different position from theirs on abortion; 38% say they would “maybe vote against” such a candidate; 34% say the candidate’s position would not change their vote or they did not know.

If a candidate for president took a different position from yours on abortion, would if make you definitely vote against him, maybe make you vote against him, or would not change your vote?

  DefinitelyVote Against Maybe Vote Against Would Not Change
All 27% 38% 34%
Support Legal Abortion 19% 39% 41%
Oppose Legal Abortion 41% 36% 22%


Catholics on Bishops and Communion
Catholics overwhelmingly disapprove of recent actions taken by a handful of bishops to deny communion to prochoice Catholic politicians.

Do you believe that politicians who are Catholic and who support legal abortion should be denied communion?

  Yes No
All 20% 78%
Hispanics 18% 73%
Liberal Church-goers 7% 91%
Moderate Church-goers 22% 72%
Conservative Church-goers 49% 48%
Battleground States 21% 76%

Do you approve or disapprove of Catholic bishops denying communion to Catholics who support legal abortion?

  Approve Disapprove
All 22% 78%
Hispanics 23% 70%
Liberal Church-goers 8% 89%
Moderate Church-goers 24% 71%
Conservative Church-goers 54% 43%
Battleground States 23% 75%

*Battleground states are defined as those where the election has historically been close and has swung from the Democratic to the Republican candidate for president. Battleground states include Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.





Catholics for a Free Choice is a non-partisan organization. We do not support or oppose candidates for public office. The poll is an educational tool whose sole purpose is to educate opinion leaders about Catholic attitudes toward social and policy issues.

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