Oct 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Most U.S. Catholics think Biden's abortion views should not disqualify him from Communion
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

  • There are partisan differences, however. More than half of Republican Catholics think the president should be refused the eucharist.

The big picture: Abortion has long been a deeply partisan, hotly contested issue.

  • Lately, it's caught national attention after Texas passed a bill banning abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected — about six weeks into a pregnancy.
  • Critics say some women aren't even aware at that point that they're pregnant.
  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear three abortion-related cases this term— two over the Texas law and another over a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks.

What they're saying: Biden is "somebody who stands up for and believes that a woman's right to choose is important. The pope has spoken differently," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.

Go deeper