(RNS) — Nearly 3 in 4 Latinos, regardless of their personal beliefs, are overwhelmingly against making abortion illegal, according to a new national poll that surveyed Latino registered voters.
Leading up to the midterm elections, the poll — which was released Tuesday (Oct. 11) — found strong support for abortion rights, with 71% of Latinos saying they could not vote for a candidate who supports a nationwide ban on abortions with no exceptions.
Additionally, 70% said they are less likely to vote for a politician who seeks to ban abortion, contraception and Plan B.
The poll, which surveyed 800 Latino registered voters, was conducted by BSP Research for abortion rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America and for Latino Victory Project, a progressive organization working to grow Latino political power.
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Latino Catholics (73%) were more likely than other Christians (63%) to oppose making abortion illegal, saying it’s wrong to “take away the freedom to make those decisions from everyone else.”
“For years there have been widespread assumptions that Latinos are religious conservatives who oppose abortion,” wrote Matt A. Barreto and Kim Kilps-Ascencio of BSP Research in a memo to NARAL Pro-Choice America and Latino Victory.
“This survey answers those assumptions with facts and data to show that Latino voters strongly support reproductive freedom, and have serious concerns today about abortion bans in many states,” they added.
Barreto and Kilps-Ascencio noted that, even when the survey framed the issue “against a Christian and religious objection to abortion which are commonly used in the Latino community,” 79% agreed abortion is a private matter and a personal decision. No matter what their beliefs were, participants agreed that it was “not the role of government to ban access to abortion for people who need it.”
According to the poll, 82% were in favor of government maintaining abortion rights. That number includes 29% of Latinos “who are more conservative, who personally oppose abortion, but agree that government should not block a woman from making that decision for herself.”
“The 29% of the Latino electorate who personally opposes abortion, but does not want the government taking the right away for others, is a critical and often misunderstood portion of the Latino community that we must communicate effectively with,” Barreto and Kilps-Ascencio said in the memo.
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While costs of living, inflation and the economy continues to register as the number one issue cited by Latinos, the NALEO Educational Fund tracking poll has reported for three weeks in a row that abortion is currently the number two issue for Latino voters, the memo noted.
The survey also found that Latina participants (77%) were more likely than Latino male respondents (67%) to oppose making abortion illegal. Among U.S.-born Latinos, 74% opposed abortion bans, compared with 69% of foreign-born Latinos.
The survey, which was conducted online and by phone Aug. 31-Sept. 14, was available in English and Spanish. It had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.