Pro-Understanding: Understanding the Pro-Choice Catholic
Natalie Therese Eilerman
Abortion is a widely debated and polarizing topic in the United States. While many Catholic leaders and members tend to hold beliefs against abortion, some Catholics are pro-choice. This study explores the perspectives and experiences of this often-under-recognized group. I conducted mixed methods research to analyze 1) how perspectives towards abortion are changing among Catholics in the United States (using data from the General Social Survey from 1977-2018), and 2) the experiences of college students at a private, predominately white, Catholic university in the Midwest who identify as pro-choice and Catholic. Quantitative analysis shows that Catholics’ attitudes towards abortion are becoming more pro-choice as time goes on. Qualitative interviews highlight a desire for open dialogue in which pro-choice Catholic perspectives are heard and respected as well as a want for the concept of being pro-life to encapsulate all life rather than just anti-abortion beliefs.
Anya M. Galli Robertson, Jeanne Anne Holcomb, Leslie H. Picca
Primary Advisor's Department
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
"Pro-Understanding: Understanding the Pro-Choice Catholic" (2022). Stander Symposium Projects. 2626.