Generational shift for U.S. Hispanics on abortion

Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:53pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Laura Isensee

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A few weeks after a one-night stand and a failed morning-after pill, Ana saw only one option: Two days later she had her pregnancy terminated at a free clinic.

The 28-year-old graduate student, who came to the United States from Guatemala when she was a toddler, called it one of the easiest, clearest decisions of her life. "Having a child is not in my plans right now," Ana said in an interview from New York City.

Her mother, while supportive, exclaimed "Why didn't you just tell me and I would have taken care of your baby?"

Ana, who requested her real name not be used, has not told her father, who would be "heartbroken," she said.

Ana and her family reflect the changing attitudes toward abortion among U.S. Hispanics -- traditionally an anti-abortion group influenced by their predominant Roman Catholic faith.

A 2007 joint survey by the respected Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Hispanic Center shows that 65 percent of first-generation U.S. Hispanics believe abortion should be illegal. But among second-generation U.S. Hispanics like Ana, that percentage drops to 43 percent.

The topic of Hispanics and abortion is a timely one as Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, began her Senate confirmation on Monday.

Sotomayor's position on abortion is not clear, even after groups on both sides of the issue have scrutinized her record and background in search for clues. Sotomayor may be asked directly about her stance at the hearings or through secondary questions like her views on privacy.   Continued...

<p>Pro-abortion advocates hold signs while marching down a street during a "March For Life/Life Chain" rally in Los Angeles, California in this January 22, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files</p>