This Presbyterian Minister Wants Churches To Talk More About Abortion
Yonat Shimron for Religion News Service reports that religious congregations in North Carolina have begun stepping up their support for legal abortion, forming an interfaith coalition on reproductive justice with members of Presbyterian, Baptist, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist and Jewish congregations. In North Carolina, a new ban on most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy that also restricted abortion-related medications went into effect earlier this month. PRRI research finds that majorities of American religious groups support abortion legality, with the exceptions being white evangelical Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Latter-day Saints, and Hispanic Protestants. Yonat highlights that even among those groups, support for legal access has been growing.
How Fringe Arguments Over Transgender Issues Are Imperiling LGBTQ+ Rights
Susan Milligan for U.S. News writes that so far in 2023, there have been over735 bills introduced targeting LGBTQ+ people. This is more than double the number introduced last year, which was also a record year. In Montana, trans people officially don’t exist under a law passed in May that says residents are the sex they were assigned at birth. In Tennessee, GOP Gov. Bill Lee rejected $8.8 million in federal funds for groups helping AIDS patients, which critics say was intended to punish health organizations that serve trans people. Missouri and South Dakota have specifically prohibited schools or districts from addingLGBTQ+ protections to anti-bullying policies.
Who Loses in the Fight Over Parental Rights in Schools?
Natalia Galicza for The Deseret News reports that if House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Parents Bill of Rights passes the Senate, it will fundamentally reorder the administration of public schools. “Whenever cultural norms or cultural values are at odds […] there’s more of an incentive to be involved in trying to shape the debates of curriculum or what’s being taught in schools,” says Melissa Deckman, PRRI’s CEO. A Government Accountability Office report found last year that hundreds of thousands of teachers have quit between 2019 and 2021 and that those dips in numbers are worsened by the tensions around parental rights. PRRI data finds that just over half of all Americans (53%) agree that public schools interfere too much with parents’ rights to determine what their children are taught, while 46% disagree.
Ten Years Since the “Gang of Eight”
In a new Spotlight Analysis, PRRI Public Fellows Laura Alexander, Ph.D., Jane Hong, Ph.D., Veronica Montes, Ph.D., and Luis Romero, Ph.D. examineAmericans’ opinions throughout the past decade as various immigration policies have been implemented – and revoked. For instance, despite the pandemic and the heated politics surrounding immigration policy, a majority of Americans (53%) opposed building a wall along the border with Mexico, according to PRRI’s 2021 American Values survey. The authors conclude that the progression of changing asylum policies, from building the border wall to the Migrant Protection Protocols to the implementation of Title 42, have contributed to a long-standing chaotic situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Read PRRI’s spotlight “More Acceptance but Growing Polarization on LGBTQ Rights: Findings From the 2022 American Values Atlas” here.