A  majority of Latinos support broad access to contraception, a poll finds.

A majority of Latinos support broad access to contraception, a poll finds. (Photos/Getty Images )

Contraception and sex ed enjoy wide Latino support, poll finds

A majority of Latinos support broad access to contraception, a poll finds.

A new study shows Latinos strongly support contraception and sex education. When it comes to abortion, less than half of Latinos think it should be legal in all or most cases, yet there was strong support for tolerance.

More than six-in-ten (61 percent) Latinos believe having an abortion is morally wrong, and 46 percent believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Yet 72 percent of Hispanics say “not judging other people”  and “showing compassion for women in difficult circumstances” (68 percent of Latinos)  are very important in shaping their views on the issue of abortion, according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The study shows how complex personal beliefs on abortion are. Seventy seven percent of Latinos say the term “pro-life” describes them somewhat or very well. At the same time, 72 percent of Hispanics report that “pro-choice” describes them somewhat or very well.

“Among black Americans and Hispanic Americans, religion plays an important role in shaping attitudes on abortion,” said Daniel Cox, PRRI Research Director. Yet the study found regardless of their personal views on abortion,  a large majority of Latinos (60 percent) believe that it is possible to disagree with their religion’s teachings on abortion and still be considered a person of good standing in their faith.

“Contrary to many troubling news narratives, we know that Latino/as have compassionate views on abortion, and findings in this poll underscore that,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “The bottom line is that most Latino/as believe a woman has the right to make personal, private decisions about abortion without politicians interfering and that we shouldn’t judge someone who feels they’re not ready to be a parent.”

Almost eight-in-ten Latinos (79 percent) support contraception.  Eighty five percent of Hispanics believe in expanding access to birth control for women who don’t currently have it, and 64 percent believe young women 16 and older should have access to birth control methods.

Moreover, 64 percent of Latinos believe religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should be required to provide their employees with birth control at no cost, differing with the Catholic Church and conservative leaders who publicly opposed this recently.

Apart from strong support for contraception, almost eight-in-ten Hispanics (79 percent) support sex education in schools.

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