Can a Conservative be Pro-Choice?


I’ve been following at least 2 different discussions on Twitter about conservatism and social values. More specifically, can someone be a conservative and be pr-choice? The back-and-forth has ben fascinating and I’ve been surprised by some notable conservatives responses.

I’m not going to paste in any of the tweets here, because I didn’t follow the entire conversation and I think it may bore most people. Suffice to say the majority conservative opinion is that no, a person cannot be a conservative and be pro-choice. I find that interesting because, well, I’m both.

I decided to take a few minutes and try to actually find data on this subject if it exists. Sure enough, Pew Research  has a poll that  shows conservative and liberal views on abortion from 1995-2017.

The research does show that there are conservatives that are pro-choice, although a decided minority. Still, 27% of those asked replied in the affirmative. That number is a lot higher than I thought it might be.  The poll gathers data from Republicans, Independents, and Democrats. I’m not a Republican so I don’t know if that skews the data in any way or not because I know other conservatives that do not ally with any particular political party. The same with Democrats. Of course not all Democrats are liberal just as not all Republicans identify as conservative.

I do think that this poll does tell us all something though: a person can be a conservative  and yes, be pro-choice. I’ve personally never thought of my being a conservative had anything to do with my views on any social matters. Conservatism has been hijacked over the years by those that are religious and therefore has become religious conservatism. 

I view myself as having the minority opinion of those polled in the same way I view myself as being a conservative and an atheist. Only 10% of those polled as to their political preferences as atheists, identify as conservative. All any of this shows is that there is some level of diversity and in my opinion, that’s good.

Its too bad for conservatism though, that the minority voice is not represented anywhere. I now know that there are many prominent voices that don’t consider me a conservative because I don’t bow down to any god or belief in gods, or that even if I were a believer, did not accept the  view of the majority on social issues. It’s too bad, in both liberal and conservative politics, that in order to be considered one or the other, a person must give over their own reason to groupthink,

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