The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture (RAAC) just released the proceedings from its June 2022 gathering:
In June, many of the top scholars studying and teaching about religion in North America gathered in Indianapolis for the Seventh Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture. Proceedings from the sessions are now available online!Topics include: White Christian Nationalism in the United States; Religio-Racial Nationalisms in Global Contexts; Refugees and New Immigrants in the United States; Resonance and the Good Life; Religious Practice in a Digital Culture; Digital Scholarship and Teaching; Reproductive Rights; and Religious Freedom in the Age of Pandemic.
Among this insightful set of conversation-starters is my own contribution drawing upon insights from the National Abortion Attitudes Study. Talking to ordinary Americans about abortion + religion reveals the limits of absolutes and imperative to broaden our categories.
In midst of the changing legal landscape for abortion in the U.S., I appreciated the opportunity to reappear as a guest on Larry’s Rifkin’s podcast, America Trends. We talked through where things stand today and what can be learned from the comprehensive interview study my team conducted with ordinary Americans regarding how they think and feel about abortion.
Thanks to the Association of Pittsburgh Priests for the invitation to share findings from the National Study of Abortion Attitudes, complicating narrow depictions of where Americans (and American Catholics) stand on this complex issue. We had a great (Zoom!) turnout and rich conversation that is sure to continue.
As states deliberate abortion access and regulation in the wake of the new federal landscape, I wrote this new piece for TIME magazine to shed light on how ordinary Americans themselves think through these questions. Most of our interviewees in the National Abortion Attitudes Study didn’t hold much familiarity with state abortion laws (or the medical markers upon which they rest). Some may find themselves reviewing them more closely in the wake of the Dobbs decision.
The Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization raises important questions regarding policy in the context of abortion restrictions. Interviewing hundreds of Americans about abortion, we heard many allude to adoption as an alternative — lauding adoption success stories, personal connections, and need, while also leveling critiques at the high cost of adoption and perceived shortcomings of foster care. This report explores Americans’ overall adoption perceptions as well as narrowing in on ways that women facing unplanned pregnancies narrate their pregnancy decisions. Thanks to the Opt Institute for supporting this secondary analysis of my team’s in-depth interview data.
Thanks to the hosts and producers of the America Magazine podcast, Jesuitical, for inviting me on to talk through how Americans — and Catholics, in particular — think about abortion. It’s a timely conversation in light of the pending decision from the Supreme Court.
I share some takeaways from the National Abortion Attitudes Study (NAAS) in light of the Supreme Court leak — namely, that the pending ruling’s implications remain unclear amid the context of complex abortion attitudes held by most ordinary Americans.
I’m grateful to my research team (Bridget Ritz, Kendra Hutchens, Maureen Day, & Patricia Tevington) and the McGrath Institute at the University of Notre Dame as well as to each of our NAAS interviewees.
I joined Notre Dame faculty members Tamara Kay and Susan Ostermann in this piece for the LA Times, published today. It references Americans my team interviewed for the National Abortion Attitudes Study who — even amid opposition to abortion — draw exceptions to save the life of the mother.
Like so much of the abortion landscape, people’s views are complicated. The nexus of values and behaviors can be more complicated, still. Exploring these tensions gives us a more accurate, data-based understanding of what abortion attitudes look like for ordinary Americans. And, in this case — what it looks like to engage in pro-social behavior that conflicts with another deeply held value.