Abortion Views Relatively Unchanged 40 Years After Roe v. Wade, Statistics Show
And weeks into Obama's first term, when he established the White House's Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, it named "reduce the need for abortion" as one of its goals.
(Anti-abortion groups, meanwhile, say Obama has shown himself to be nothing but partisan on the issue, and point to his administration's 2011 contraceptive mandate, which they claim also requires employers to fund health plans for medication that could result in an abortion.)
Shifting views on abortion since Roe are perhaps most visible within certain religious groups, particularly Catholics and conservative Protestants.
In 2009, Gallup released a poll showing that Catholics, who had in the past more readily accepted Catholic teaching against abortion, now shared views that reflected those of Americans in general: there was just a 1-point difference on whether abortion is "morally acceptable" between Catholics (40 percent) and non-Catholics (41 percent).
The latest Pew study, which asked a different question on abortion, showed that 73 percent of white evangelical Protestants consider abortion to be morally wrong — outpacing Catholics (58 percent) as the religious group most opposed to abortion.
"Where traditionally it was Catholics who were more opposed to abortion, that's changed in a dramatic fashion," said Cox, of the Public Religion Research Institute. "Now it's white evangelical Protestants who are most opposed."