I know many of you are working hard to target young people and their position on reproductive rights and health issues. I wanted to call your attention to some new data from GQR Research on young white evangelical Christians ages 18 – 29.
· Young evangelical Christians display generational differences on some key social issues. A majority of younger white evangelicals support some form of legal recognition for civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples. Older evangelicals remain strongly opposed. At the same time, young evangelicals are as solidly pro-life on abortion as older evangelicals.
What strikes me about this new data is that it reflects a trend we have been seeing with young people in general—they are more liberal on a range of issue such as civil unions or gay marriage, immigration, and the environment. But a key exception is abortion, where their opinions are tracking the general population. Other polls that show this trend include Pew’s “A Portrait of Generation Next” January 2007, and NYTimes/CBS/MTV Poll June 2007.
Since prior generations of young people tended to be more liberal than the rest of the population on abortion, I continue to reiterate my concern about young people’s opinion on abortion and see it as validation of the opportunity with this generation (they are engaged and open) and the urgent need to find ways to influence their views on reproductive rights and health issues.