"We find that they're less likely to believe that all human life is sacred, less likely to believe that the U.S. Constitution would recognize every human life as having value, [and] less likely to believe that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances or even most circumstances," he summarizes.
And Millennials, he says, also are less likely to consider that abortion is murder, regardless of the age or health of the unborn child.
"They're less likely to think of themselves as being pro-life," he continues. "They tend to adopt the 'pro-choice' moniker more often – and they're also more likely to want the federal government not only to continue to fund Planned Parenthood at its current levels, which are greater than $500 million a year, but perhaps to even increase that amount of funding."
That's not to say that there aren't a lot of young adults active in the pro-life movement. "But at the same time, when we take the bigger picture of what's going on with that generation, that kind of activity can be deceiving, as the statistics that I just alluded to show," Barna points out.
Why is it that we continue to hear a majority of Millennials are pro-life?
"I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that you have a large portion of the younger generation that's very active in supporting different causes – and so even though they may be a minority, there are a lot of Millennials who are pro-life and they will make their voice heard, they will be seen out on the streets protesting against abortion," he answers. "So it's easy to get the idea that they and a lot of their friends are pro-life."
Barna also thinks it is a desire on the part of many pro-life organizations to encourage other people that things are moving in the right direction. "So I think we have to be very careful about taking anecdotes and blowing them up as if they were representative statistics of the population at large," he cautions.
Barna concludes with this ominous observation on the future of the matter:
"Unless substantial changes are made in how young people are introduced to the morals and ethics related to life and death, we may expect them to remain oblivious to the dire situation of the unborn in favor of their seemingly unquenchable thirst for freedom of personal choice in all situations.
"And consider this: ... Millennials comprise the dominant parenting generation of children under 13 in America today. Like the generations of parents that preceded them, they will pass on what they believe. That does not portend well for those intent upon protecting the lives of the unborn."
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