Religious Influences on American Opinion about Family Planning

Jennifer B. Barrett, University of Texas at Austin
Christopher G. Ellison, University of Texas at Austin
Clifford Grammich, RAND

Although religion is an important influence on a variety of social attitudes, the relationship between religion and views on family planning remains largely unexplored. Using data from a nationally-representative survey (N=1,500), we examine the influence of religious attendance and identification on family planning attitudes. Higher religious attendance is linked to less favorable opinions about contraception. Catholic affiliation is not consistently associated with family planning opinion, and we find mixed results for conservative Protestants. Born again and fundamentalist Christians have less positive opinions about contraception, generally, whereas evangelical identity is linked to negative views on family planning policy. These findings contribute to knowledge about the relationship between religion and family planning attitudes and the broader social influences of religious self-identification.

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Presented in Session 168: Religion, Contraception, and Fertility