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Public opinion about abortion-related stigma among Mexican Catholics and implications for unsafe abortion.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2012 Sep; 118 Suppl 2:S160-6.A nationally representative survey was conducted among 3000 Catholics in Mexico during 2009 and 2010. Respondents were presented with a hypothetical situation about a young woman who decided to have an abortion and were asked their personal opinion of her. On the basis of a stigma index, it was found that the majority (61%) had stigmatizing attitudes about abortion; however, 81% believed that abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances. Respondents were significantly more likely to stigmatize abortion if they disagreed with the Mexico City law legalizing the procedure (odds ratio 1.66; 95% CI, 1.30-2.11) and believed that abortion should be prohibited in all cases (odds ratio 3.13; 95% CI, 2.28-4.30). Such stigma can lead women to seek unsafe abortions to avoid judgment by society. Copyright (c) 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012 May.  p. (U.S. Global Health Policy)This survey is the fourth in a series by the Foundation that explores the American public's views and knowledge of U.S. efforts to improve health for people in developing countries.The survey examines perceptions about foreign aid in general and U.S. spending on global health specifically, including views on the potential impact of spending, perceptions of progress in improving health in developing countries, and the visibility of global health issues in the media.The survey was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation. It was conducted February 2 through February 12, among a nationally representative random sample of 1,205 adults ages 18 and older. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Studies In Family Planning. 2011 Sep; 42(3):175-82.This article presents findings from three opinion surveys conducted among representative samples of Mexico City residents: the first one immediately prior to the groundbreaking legalization of first-trimester abortion in April 2007, and one and two years after the reform. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess changes in opinion concerning abortion and correlates of favorable opinion following reform. In 2009 a clear majority (74 percent) of respondents were in support of the Mexico City law allowing for elective first-trimester abortion, compared with 63 percent in 2008 and 38 percent in 2007. A significant increase in support for extending the law to the rest of Mexico was found: from 51 percent in 2007 to 70 percent in 2008 and 83 percent in 2009. In 2008 the significant independent correlates of support for the Mexico City law were education, infrequent religious service attendance, sex (being male), and political party affiliation; in 2009 they were education beyond high school, infrequent religious service attendance, and ever having been married.
Studies In Family Planning. 2011 Sep; 42(3):191-8.In opposition to Mexico City's legalization of first-trimester abortion, 17 Mexican states (53 percent) have introduced initiatives or reforms to ban abortion entirely, and other states have similar legislation pending. We conducted an opinion survey in eight states--four where constitutional amendments have already been approved and four with pending amendments. Using logistic regression analyses, we found that higher education, political party affiliation, and awareness of reforms/initiatives were significantly associated with support for the Mexico City law. Legal abortion was supported by a large proportion of respondents in cases of rape (45-70 percent), risk to a woman's life (55-71 percent), and risk to a woman's health (48-68 percent). A larger percentage of respondents favored the Mexico City law, which limits elective legal abortion to the first 12 weeks of gestation (32-54 percent), than elective abortion without regard to gestational limit (14-31 percent).
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2008 Jul; 34(3):199-201.Intrauterine contraception is underutilised largely due to its reputed association with infections. The Copper T-380A, one of the most cost-effective methods of contraception and the most widely used intrauterine contraceptive device in the world, is effective for at least 12 years and is also used for emergency contraception. The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG IUS) is extremely useful for treating menorrhagia. A renaissance of intrauterine contraception is overdue and will necessitate community-wide information campaigns to stimulate demand generation, implementation of service guidelines that avoid restrictive eligibility criteria, and access to service providers with special training in counselling and clinical skills. (author's)
Global Public Health. 2008; 3(S2):39-57.This study is aimed at examining how subsequent Peruvian governments, since 1990, have addressed reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and sexual diversity rights, as well as the drastic policy shifts and its many contradictions. Abortion and contraception consistently generated the deepest public controversies and debates, which made progress in reproductive rights difficult. HIV/AIDS was often portrayed as having the potential to affect everyone, which allowed advocates and activists to achieve some success in advancing HIV/AIDS-related rights. Sexual diversity rights, perceived as a demand made by "others", were generally trivialised and disdained by politicians, officials, and the general population. Positive changes occurred as long as the issue was given a low political and institutional profile. The analysis of policy-making and programme implementation in these three areas reveals that: (1) Weaknesses in national institutional frameworks concerning reproductive health made it possible for governments to adopt two very different (even contradictory) approaches to the issue within the past 15 years; (2) Policies were presented as rights-based in order to garner political legitimacy when, in fact, they evidenced a clear disregard for the rights of individual citizens; and (3) By favouring low-profile "public health" discourses, and marginalising "the sexual" in official policies related to sexuality, advocacy groups sometimes created opportunities for legal changes but failed to challenge conservative powers opposing the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights and the full citizenship of women and sexual minorities. (author's)
Population Briefs. 2007 Dec; 13(3):5.In April 2007, Mexico City's legislative assembly voted to liberalize abortion law to permit the interruption of pregnancy in the first trimester. The city is a federal district-similar to Washington, DC-and has a state-like autonomy. The law is in place only in Mexico City; Mexico's states still have restrictive abortion laws. The Council's research and collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations, universities, professional associations, and the Mexican government helped bring about this groundbreaking legislation. "The Population Council's research findings on abortion in Latin America have been used by government officials and women's rights advocacy groups to shape evidence-based policies, including the recent change in abortion law in Mexico City," says Sandra G. Garcia, the Council's director of reproductive health for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, Garcia was honored as a recipient of the Guttmacher Institute's Darroch Award for Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research. She was cited for "research documenting abortion-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Mexico" that "played an important role in the...recent decision to legalize first-trimester abortion." (excerpt)
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2008 Jan; 83(1):19-21.Reproductive-health advocates have advocated tirelessly for increased awareness of, access to, and utilization of emergency contraception, particularly levonorgestrel (Plan B), with considerable success in the face of much opposition. Unfortunately, the associated political and ideological struggles have diverted attention from two key issues around the use of this drug: how effective it really is and the impact of its use at the population level. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2007 Oct 20; 370(9596):1394.Eradicating poliomyelitis presents many challenges. Financing essential activities can be difficult when donors fail to meet funding targets (a US$60 million funding gap currently exists for the fourth quarter of 2007). Security issues in two of the four polio-endemic countries-Afghanistan and Pakistan-make access to children difficult for immunisation teams. And in Nigeria, low vaccine coverage and an outbreak of disease from vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) could set back global eradication efforts. Over the past 10 years there have been nine outbreaks of poliomyelitis derived from the oral vaccine in nine countries. Nigeria has seen the largest outbreak; 69 children have been paralysed this year. VDPVs are rare but occur when the live virus in an oral polio vaccine mutates and reverts to neurovirulence. This loss of attenuation does not matter so much in populations who are fully immunised with oral vaccine, since they will be protected from wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus, but in Nigeria,where vaccine coverage is 39% (and even lower in some northern states), it is a problem. (excerpt)
Free choice restricted: USAID's reactionary policies and the case of emergency contraception in Peru.
Lima, Peru, Centro de Promocion y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos [PROMSEX], 2007 Sep. 27 p.For 30 years the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the primary foreign donor to health programs in Peru. In 1998 alone it provided $21 million to Peru's public health sector, making up approximately one-fourth of the bi- and multilateral financial aid in this area. A significant portion of USAID's funding has been directed to reproductive health, with a focus on family planning. For example, between 1994 and 1998, USAID provided $85 million to family planning activities, or three quarters of all of its reproductive health aid to Peru. USAID's support has contributed significantly to improving the reproductive health and rights of people living in poverty in Peru, particularly women. Nevertheless, politically driven U.S. policies governing USAID's programs have at times inhibited reproductive rights and adversely affected the health and well-being of individuals. Depending on the goals of successive U.S. administrations, USAID's support for family planning programsin Peru has shifted since it began working there in the 1960s. Initially, it focused on meeting demographic goals, with a mindset toward simply slowing rapid population growth. After the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, USAID sought to implement that agreement, shifting to a rights-based approach to population policy, which emphasized women's needs and context, rather than fertility targets. Today, under the conservative Bush administration, USAID's position on emergency contraception in Peru negates fundamental human rights, including the right to informed and voluntary decisions over one's body, reproduction, and contraceptive use. (excerpt)
Culture, Health and Sexuality. 2007 Jul-Aug; 9(4):403-414.This paper examines teenage pregnancy as a social-historical construction of increasing concern in Brazil. It presents findings from over five years of empirical research alongside an analysis of a sample of newspaper articles representative of the dominant positions in the Brazilian press concerning teenage pregnancy. In contrast to mainstream arguments and to broader moral panic surrounding teenage pregnancy, we argue that contemporary patterns of sexual behaviour among young people in Brazil do not signal growing permissiveness and are not straightforwardly related to poverty, family dysfunction or lack of life projects on the part of young people themselves. On the contrary, early pregnancy and parenthood retain strong continuities with core Brazilian values and norms of sexual culture. (author's)
Is it all in a word? The effect of issue framing on public support for U.S. spending on HIV / AIDS in developing countries.
Harvard International Journal of Press / Politics. 2007; 12(2):120-132.The frequency of government foreign aid decisions influenced by pubic opinion has risen dramatically in the past few years. This study looks at the effect of issue framing on support for U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS in developing countries-specifically, at how support changes when the phrase foreign aid is included or omitted from a survey question. Analyses reveal a significant effect of issue framing for women and Democrats. Omitting the phrase foreign aid is associated with increased support for U.S. spending among Democrats and decreased support among women. Regardless of issue framing, blacks, Hispanics, and more educated individuals support U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS in developing countries. However, when forced to decide between funds' going overseas for HIV/AIDS in developing countries or remaining in the United States, all respondents overwhelmingly support monies' being used in the United States. (author's)
Revista Estudos Feministas. 2006 May-Sep; 14(2):509-521.The civil union between persons of the same sex is analyzed in this essay through the discussion of the roots of the anti-homosexual prejudice and the fight for the citizenship of gays, lesbians and transgenders in Brazil, and through listing the different manifestations of homofobia in our social environment. We deconstruct the contrary opinions against the homosexual marriage, justifying with etho-historical evidences the extending of equal rights to the couples of the same sex, including the legal recognition of the civil union. (author's)
Washington, D.C., Advocates for Youth, 2005.  p. (Issues at a Glance)In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a fact sheet with messages to encourage sexually active people to use condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In 2001, under pressure from anti-condom activists within the administration, CDC removed that document, replacing it a year later with a very different fact sheet. While there are many nuanced differences between the two fact sheets, there are two main distinctions. The 2002 fact sheet shows 1) a bias within the administration towards promoting abstinence over condom use, even for those who are sexually active; and 2) a willingness to censor vital, life-saving information, even in the face of an HIV pandemic. Below are several examples that illustrate these distinctions. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., Advocates for Youth, 2005.  p. (The Facts)The Responsible Education about Life (REAL) Act, formerly the Family Life Education Act, would provide federal money to support responsible sex education in schools. This education would include science-based, medically accurate, and age appropriate public health information about both abstinence and also contraception. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the REAL Act in Congress (H.R. 2553 and S. 368). (excerpt)
Health Affairs. 2007 Mar-Apr; 26(2):345-354.A number of important health policy issues, such as the allocation of flu vaccines during a pandemic, require society to determine priorities across different age groups. Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and related methods of economic evaluation are often useful for determining optimal resource allocations. Using the examples of recently evaluated vaccine interventions, we show that current methods of CEA are likely to undervalue health interventions for young people, relative to societal preferences inferred from research on age preferences and the value of health over time. These findings demonstrate important considerations regarding how society distributes health resources across age groups. (author's)
Nursing for Women's Health. 2007; 11(1):83-87.In June 2006, the approval and recommendation of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that can prevent most cervical cancers piqued interest, generated much media attention and raised questions. As a result, many young women, parents and others want to know more about this vaccine. This article will help nurses understand and communicate about issues surrounding the vaccine. HPVs are a family of more than 100 virus types that cause such problems as common warts, plantar warts, skin cancers, anal and genital warts, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (a rare benign infection of type HPV 6 or 11 that passes from mothers to infants during childbirth), head and neck cancers, genital cancers (vagina, vulva, penile) and cervical cancer. Approximately 40 types of HPV infect the mucosal epithelium, whereas 60 types are cutaneous. More than half of sexually active women and men will be infected with one or more types of HPV in their lifetime, and some reports indicate that 80 percent of women will have anHPV infection by 50 years of age. Young women and men between 15 and 24 years of age account for half of the infections. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. It's estimated that 20 million people are currently infected and 6.2 million will be newly infected each year. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], . 14 p.The deepening of democratic institutions, gains in macroeconomic stability and rapid expansion of prosperity contribute to an overall encouraging context for sustainable development in Brazil. Yet, despite these numerous advances, real poverty has only moderately declined, and inequality persists. In Brazil, economic and social status tends to vary by geography, race and gender, a legacy of the country's history. Imposed and de facto colonial and post-colonial divisions among indigenous peoples and descendents of Portuguese settlers, African slaves and European, Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants created persistent structures of exclusion and inequality. In the 1950s, during the military government, a strategy of import substitution prioritized rapid industrial expansion, and helped to bring about significant, sustained economic growth. Benefits, however, accrued disproportionately to the upper classes at the expense of workers and unions. The industrialization contributed to the expansion of the favelas (urban slums), one of Brazil's greatest contemporary challenges, by promoting urban migration while infrastructure and social support did not expand at the same pace. (excerpt)
Sanger File. 2003 Jan 15; (10): p..Every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I wonder if this will be its last. Roe, decided in 1973, overturned the states' criminal abortion laws as a violation of a citizen's right to privacy. For 30 years the right wing has made the overturn of Roe one if its top priorities. The political goal of the right wing is to get Justices on the Supreme Court who will overturn the decision. The election of George W. Bush combined with a Republican-controlled Senate and House gives the right wing the chance they have been waiting for. Some of the Justices who support Roe are not in the best of health and may step down from the court, leaving a vacancy for President Bush and the Senate to fill. In a political sense, all that stands between the President and Senate doing this is the Democratic minority which could threaten a filibuster, which would take 60 votes out of 100 to defeat. The Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate. The issue is whether the pro-choice Democrats have the political courage to make this stand. (excerpt)
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1151-1156.The objective was to examine US public opinion on sex education in schools to determine how the public's preferences align with those of policymakers and research scientists. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: July 2005 through January 2006. Participants: Randomly selected nationally representative sample of US adults aged 18 to 83 years (N=1096). Main Outcome Measures: Support for 3 different types of sex education in schools: abstinence only, comprehensive sex education, and condom instruction. Approximately 82% of respondents indicated support for programs that teach students about both abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Similarly, 68.5% supported teaching how to properly use condoms. Abstinence-only education programs, in contrast, received the lowest levels of support (36%) and the highest level of opposition (about 50%) across the 3 program options. Self-identified conservative, liberal, and moderate respondents all supported abstinence-plus programs, although the extent of support varied significantly. Our results indicate that US adults, regardless of political ideology, favor a more balanced approach to sex education compared with the abstinence-only programs funded by the federal government. In summary, abstinence-only programs, while a priority of the federal government, are supported by neither a majority of the public nor the scientific community. (author's)
Comprehensive sex education: strong public support and persuasive evidence of impact, but little funding.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1182-1184.The article by Bleakley et al strong evidence that a very large majority of adults in this country supports comprehensive sex education programs that teach about abstinence and also other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, whereas only a minority of adults supports the teaching of only abstinence. These results build on numerous somewhat similar surveys that have been conducted for decades demonstrating such support. Indeed, as long ago as 1943, the Gallup Poll found that 68% of adults approved of sex education in schools. By 1985, that support had increased to 85%. Furthermore, for decades these polls have demonstrated that adults want the instruction to include both abstinence and condoms and other methods of contraception. Notably, this support is not limited to only certain parts of the country; similar polls in more conservative southern states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, have demonstrated strong support for programs that encourage abstinence but also encourage the use of condoms and other contraceptives among those who do have sex. (excerpt)
Adapting the popular opinion leader intervention for Latino young migrant men who have sex with men.
AIDS Education and Prevention. 2006; 18 Suppl A:137-148.Young Latino migrant men who have sex with men are at high risk for HIV infection. The Popular Opinion Leader intervention, shown to be effective with White gay men, was adapted by the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc., for this Latino migrant population. This project, called the Young Latino Promotores, was implemented over a 2-year period by community-based organizations in Vista, California, and McAllen, Texas, with capacity building assistance from the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc. We report on challenges, preliminary findings, and lessons learned from adapting this intervention. (author's)
Washington, D.C., National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, .  p.There is reason to be concerned about adolescents having sex at an early age. Early sexual activity has been linked to a greater number of sexual partners over time and an increased risk of both teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In addition, the younger a girl is the first time she has sex, the more likely it is that the experience was unwanted. The information in this fact sheet, collected from nationally representative data sets and public opinion surveys, provides some insights into the sexual attitudes and behavior of young adolescents. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Putting What Works to Work, 2004 Feb.  p. (Science Says No. 7)Who most influences teens' decisions about sex? Do parents or peers matter more? Should society strongly encourage adolescents to abstain from sexual intercourse? What do adults and teens think about topics such as contraception, virginity, and the influence of the media? Understanding Americans' attitudes about these topics helps point to strategies for addressing teen pregnancy prevention. To that end, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy commissions annual surveys of adults and adolescents seeking answers to these and related questions. This Science Says brief summarizes some of the key findings from the National Campaign's 2003 survey. Data in this brief are drawn from the publication, With One Voice 2003: America's Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy. The surveys were conducted via telephone in August and September 2003 with over 1,000 adults (aged 20 and over) and 1,000 adolescents (aged 12--19). All results are considered nationally representative. See the methodology section below for more information on how these surveys were conducted. (excerpt)
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. 1999 Fall; 8(3):167-173.This part of the 1998 Canadian Contraception Study describes findings related to Canadian women's familiarity with, opinions about, and use of various contraceptive methods. Familiarity was almost universal for oral contraceptives and condoms, but less than 60% of women aged 15 to 44 were familiar with the other methods. Respondents had the most positive opinions about oral contraceptives (64% of women had a "very favourable opinion"), were less positive about male sterilization (40%), condoms (37%), and female sterilization (31%) and even less so for each of the other methods cited (less than 15% in all cases). Condoms and oral contraceptives were the most widely used methods among sexually active women using contraception (44% and 43% respectively). These findings confirm the central place of oral contraceptives and condoms in the contraceptive awareness and practices of Canadian women. (author's)