Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Abortion and the effect of Catholicism and nationality   posted by Razib @ 6/03/2009 09:38:00 PM

A few years ago the Inductivist found that Protestant & Orthodox countries favored abortion to a greater degree than Roman Catholic ones. He did add though that many of the nations in the former category were nominally in the category (e.g., Sweden) I have always been curious about if Catholicism has any effect on attitudes toward abortion within nations. It is known in the USA that there isn't much of a difference between Catholics and non-Catholics on this topic, rather, it is conservative Protestants stand out. The World Values Survey has a question which asks if abortion is ever justifiable. I thought it would be interesting to break these data down between Catholics and non-Catholics in various countries.

I look at nations which had large Catholic and non-Catholic populations. Not just non-religious (like France), but with religious identified non-Catholics. For example, the Netherlands has large historical Catholic and Protestant populations. I used WVS waves 3 & 4 and aggregated them together. I looked at WVS 5 separately. So some nations are entered twice. Where there were no Protestants, such as in Bosnia, I used Orthodox Christians. In a few Latin American nations Protestants were distinct from Evangelicals. The former usually includes members of historic immigrant communities with culturally Protestant traditions. Their numbers were small in any case, so I simply substituted Evangelical, which usually refers to relatively recent converts to Pentecostalism.

As you can see, most of the variation is between nations, not within them. In many cases Protestants are more pro-life than Catholics. In nations such as Chile most Protestants are relatively conservative evangelicals, disproportionately from the lower socioeconomic strata. In the Netherlands I suspect it has to do with the conservative Protestant Bible Belt, while most liberal Dutch Reformed have simply become "Nones."

Protestant/Orthodox Catholic
Great Britan 14.5 38.5
Netherlands 29.9 19.8
USA 23.7 27.8
Canada 33.3 28.9
Australia 21 27.6
Brazil 75.2 65.1
Chile 73.5 61.2
Ghana 65.3 63
Colombia 87.6 72.6
Trinidad 68.2 60.8
Germany 18 17.5
Albania 12.7 25.7
Bosnia 32.9 43.1
Chile 84.8 69.3
Czech Republic 17.8 19.6
South Korea 41.6 40.6
Latvia 25.2 30.6
Netherlands 23.5 18.2
Nigeria 70.2 59.1
Puerto Rico 84.3 77
South Africa 64.2 61.3
Zimbabwe 92.4 88.9
Switzerland 22.1 21.9
Uganda 76.9 74.2
Great Britan 25.2 32.7
Tanzania 87.2 91.5
USA 35 38.2
Venezuela 81 70
Northern Ireland 40.3 62.6

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