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Poll: Most Catholics Support Contraception, Abortion Rights

Poll: Most Catholics Support Contraception, Abortion Rights

February 19, 2014 — Seventy-eight percent of Catholics worldwide support contraceptive use, despite church teachings that oppose artificial contraception, according to a recent Univision poll, Newsmax reports.

The poll asked 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries for their opinions on several issues, including abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and the marriage of priests.

The survey found that although Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae prohibited artificial contraceptives 45 years ago, Catholics in most countries overwhelmingly support the use of contraceptives. Specifically, 91% of Latin American Catholics said they support the use of contraceptives, including 93% of Brazilian Catholics, 91% of Catholics in Argentina and 88% of Mexican Catholics.

Support for contraceptive use also was high throughout Europe, including 90% of Spanish Catholics, 84% of Italian Catholics and 75% of Polish Catholics. In the U.S., 79% of Catholics expressed support for contraceptive use.

In just two of the surveyed countries -- the Congo and Uganda -- did most respondents disapprove of contraceptive use, with 44% of Catholics supporting it in each country.

Findings on Abortion

The survey also found that 57% of respondents said abortion should be permitted in certain cases, while 33% said abortion should never be allowed. Nine percent said abortion should be permitted in all circumstances (Burke, Newsmax, 2/19).