LDS official policies and the teachings of General Authorities, beginning with Joseph Smith, have consistently decried elective abortion. Since the 1970s, social values in the United States have increasingly moved toward acceptance of elective abortion. Church leaders have consistently explained the underlying theological reasons for their policy that abortion should be illegal in most but not all cases and kept their focus on the specific practice (elective abortion) that was of major concern and avoided getting diverted by peripheral issues. This consistent message has successfully passed this value to younger generations of Church members.
Wardle, Lynn D.
"Teaching Correct Principles: The Experience of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Responding to Widespread Social Acceptance of Elective Abortion,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 53
, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol53/iss1/9