Focus Groups and Surveys Used to Analyze Millennial Attitudes toward Abortion
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life commissioned Indianapolis-based Sextons Creek Productions to gauge where Hoosier millennials stand on abortion and how they respond to pro-life and pro-choice messaging.
A majority of millennials surveyed responded that abortion should be legal in some cases, yet are deeply conflicted about its morality.
The most confounding statistic produced by the study is that the same millennials who call themselves “pro-choice” also identify as “pro-life.” Half of millennials believe “pro-choice” is a more socially acceptable label, but they also believe having an abortion is right or wrong depending on the situation.
Based on the data from focus groups and surveys of millennials, only 10 percent of respondents agreed with the following sentence: “Abortion is best for the woman.”
On science, truth and compassion, the pro-life side won out. When asked, “Which side is more scientific?” 60 percent of respondents answered “pro-life.” When asked, “Which side is more truthful?” 55 percent of respondents answered “pro-life.” Finally, when asked, “Which side is more compassionate?” a full 70 percent of respondents said, “pro-life.”
Millennials do not respond well to political party appeals. Many of them can identify as either pro-life or pro-choice, but not for every issue; they prefer to discuss these topics with non-political, non-religious language.
Only 7 percent of respondents believe pregnancy carries shame, but 51 percent believe abortion carries shame. Forty-seven percent of respondents agreed that abortion creates physiological and psychological issues later in life.
Sentiments towards the morality of abortion shift dramatically depending on the term of the abortion, where early-term abortions are considered more acceptable and late-term abortions are considered unacceptable. However, only 22 percent of respondents agreed that an unborn baby is human only when it can live outside of the mother on its own.
The vast majority of respondents (65 percent) would choose delivery over abortion. This illustrates even those who identified as pro-choice tend to identify that way for the sake of others more than for themselves.
Indiana Right to Life commissioned the study so that it could guide future messaging to Hoosier millennials. The research results will also be shared with other pro-life organizations to help facilitate better messaging to millennials nationwide.
“Speaking to millennials in a traditional, political format is losing its effectiveness,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “We want to be sure our messaging is reaching abortion-vulnerable women in the millennial demographic and we want to build a culture of life among this generation. We advance life by understanding the trends and beliefs of this age group, then translating our findings into new strategies to win hearts and minds.”
Indiana Right to Life and Sextons Creek Productions collected responses through four collectors (two through vendors, one through an organic social media campaign and one through surveys completed by focus group participants). They processed a total of 923 survey responses and held three focus groups in three different locations.
Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.