Evangelical leaders indicated their strong support for several policies related to abortion in the May/June Evangelical Leaders Survey. Conscience protections for healthcare workers who decline to participate in abortions and policies prohibiting abortions based on the sex of the baby received the highest levels of support at 97 percent.
“As evangelicals, we understand that God created human beings in his image and that every human life from conception to death has inestimable worth,” said Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “As such, we seek to create a culture that celebrates life, shares concerns for human dignity, protects children, and promotes healthy families and communities.”
In addition to supporting conscience protections (as included in the Weldon amendment) and restricting abortions based on the baby’s sex, 94 percent of evangelical leaders support the Hyde amendment prohibiting federal funding of most abortions, and 91 percent support the Helms amendment prohibiting federal funding of abortions in foreign aid programs. Evangelical leaders also support the prohibition of abortion based on a baby’s ability to feel pain at 88 percent and based on a Down syndrome diagnosis at 84 percent.
Several long-standing pro-life policies, including the Hyde, Helms and Weldon amendments, have recently been challenged. Most notably, the American Rescue Plan appropriates money that is not subject to the Hyde amendment prohibition on federal funding of abortion. For the first time in decades, federal tax dollars may be used to pay for abortions. Some state laws or proposals restricting abortions have also been overturned, including an Arkansas law that would have banned abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis.
At the same time, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in a Mississippi case that could lead to a landmark decision overturning or narrowing the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The NAE is working with other pro-life groups on an amicus brief in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Oral arguments will take place in the fall, and a decision is expected by June 2022.
“For many years, well-intentioned Americans have passionately debated whether and in what circumstances abortion should be legal. At the NAE, we seek honest conversation, healthy dialogue and helpful policies that reduce the incidence of abortions in the United States, as we continue to uphold the sanctity of all human life,” Kim said.
The Evangelical Leaders Survey is a monthly poll of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals. They include the CEOs of denominations and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations including missions, universities, publishers and churches.