The weekly report on research and demographics of the secular movement
by Julie Esris
This week Kansas governor Sam Brownback signed a bill into law that would severely restrict second trimester abortions. More specifically, the law prohibits the dilation and evacuation (D and E) method of abortion, usually performed after 12-14 weeks of pregnancy. In the D and E method, the fetus is removed from the womb, often in parts. Many doctors say that this as the safest and most convenient technique for second-trimester abortions. The new law, however, is called The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. There are other second-trimester abortion procedures in which this method is not used. The law specifically outlaws dilation and evacuation, not second-trimester abortion. That is, its wording graphically describes the procedure, possibly in order to appeal to peopleÔÇÖs emotions in order to influence them change their minds about abortion, an already very contentious issue in America.
According to a 2013 Pew poll that surveyed 4,006 adults, abortion is as divisive an issue as ever. 49% of adults surveyed believe that abortion is morally wrong. As one would expect, religion strongly factors in peopleÔÇÖs stances on abortion. White evangelical Protestants are the most opposed to abortion (75%), followed by Hispanic Catholics (64%). Black Protestants oppose abortion at 58%, white Catholics at 53%, and white mainline Protestants at 38%. Not surprisingly, those unaffiliated with any religion are the least likely to be opposed to abortion (25%). Followers of non-Christian religions were not surveyed in this poll.