The Pro-Life Cause Is Now a Lower Priority for Christians. That’s Bad News for Everybody.


n less than a month, the Supreme Court will take up arguments on a Mississippi case that could conceivably spell the end of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion as a constitutional right. At the same time, the justices sent signals that they were perhaps dubious of a recent Texas law that sought to restrict abortion through civil liability measures.

For the first time in a while, it seems that abortion is at the forefront of conversation in the United States. And yet, some surveys suggest that abortion is not the motivating factor for evangelicals that it once was.

Those who disagree with me on abortion may feel it is good news that evangelicals are lessening their priority on the pro-life issue—thinking perhaps that a cooling down in the culture wars might lead to a less polarized America. But such people would be wrong. As a matter of fact, if this trend continues, it could be bad news for everybody.

Political scientist Ryan Burge collected polling data this summer from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and compared that with recent data gathered from the Association of Religion Data Archives. The poll asked respondents how they would rank their relative priority on various sociopolitical issues. Burge noted that, over time, the abortion issue has decreased in priority among white evangelicals and other issues, like immigration, have increased.

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