Over 40 percent of women who have had an abortion say they were frequent churchgoers at the time they ended their pregnancies and about a half of them say they kept their abortions hidden from church members, new LifeWay Research shows.
In a survey released Monday that was sponsored by the pregnancy center support organization Care Net, researchers from the Christian research group LifeWay found that about 70 percent of women who had an abortion self-identified as Christians, while 43 percent say they attended a Christian church at least once per month or more at the time they aborted their child.
The survey, which interviewed 1,038 respondents who've all had abortions, found that 20 percent of the respondents attended church at least once a week at the time of their first pregnancy termination. Six percent said they attended church more than once per week, while about 54 percent said they rarely or never attended a church.
As a majority Christian churches do not support aborting a child, only 7 percent of women said they discussed their abortion decision with anyone at church, while 52 percent said no one at their church knew about their abortion. Additionally, 76 percent of them say that the church had no influence on their decision to go through with the abortion.
"I'm not surprised but I don't think that necessarily reflects anything bad about churches," Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life organization that organizes an annual pro-life rally in Washington D.C., told The Christian Post Wednesday.
"That would be fantastic if she went to a church member but the reality is that they know often that they are not doing what's right, so they are not going to go [to someone] who is an expert in morality to find that out," Mancini added. "They want somebody to tell them that it's OK and they are not going to hear that from a church, at least not most churches."
The survey also found that 64 percent of respondents feel that members of the church are more likely to gossip about their pregnancy or abortion consideration rather than actually help them understand their pregnancy options.
While weighing their abortion decisions, 36 percent said they expected or experienced judgemental reaction from a church, while 26 percent said they expected or experienced condemnation from the congregation.
Only 16 percent said they expected or experienced a "caring" reaction from the church, while 14 percent said they expected or experienced a helpful reaction.