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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Public opinion about abortion-related stigma among Mexican Catholics and implications for unsafe abortion.

    McMurtrie SM; Garcia SG; Wilson KS; Diaz-Olavarrieta C; Fawcett GM

    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.
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Public opinion on abortion in Mexico City after the landmark reform.

    Wilson KS; Garcia SG; Diaz Olavarrieta C; Villalobos-Hernandez A; Rodriguez JV; Smith PS; Burks C

    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.
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Public opinion on abortion in eight Mexican states amid opposition to legalization.

    Valencia Rodriguez J; Wilson KS; Diaz Olavarrieta C; Garcia SG; Sanchez Fuentes ML

    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).
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  4. 4

    Council works to reduce unsafe abortion in Mexico.

    Population Council

    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)
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  5. 5
    Peer Reviewed

    Fetal discourses and the politics of the womb.

    Tan ML

    Reproductive Health Matters. 2004; 12 Suppl 24:157-166.

    Discourse on abortion rights inevitably centres on the fetus, and is often framed around the dichotomy of ''pro-life'' vs. ''pro-choice'' positions. This dichotomy is not, however, the only framework to discuss abortion; concerns about the fetus have found varied expression in theological, legal and medical constructs. This article examines discourses on the fetus from the Philippines, Iran and the United States, to show how complex they can be. It examines laws punishing abortion compared to laws punishing the murder of children, and also looks at the effects of ultrasound, amniocentesis and stem cell research on anti-abortion discourse. Although the fetus figures prominently in much legal discourse, it actually figures less prominently in popular discourse, at least in the English and Philippine languages, where terms like ''child'' and ''baby'' are used far more often. Finally, the article highlights the need to examine the experiences and narratives of women who have had abortions, and the implications for public policies and advocacy. It is important to expose the way anti-abortion groups manipulate popular culture and women's experience, driving home their messages through fear and guilt, and to show that pregnant women often decide on abortion in order to defend their family's right to survive. (author's)
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  6. 6
    Peer Reviewed

    Policy implications of a national public opinion survey on abortion in Mexico. [México: repercusión en las políticas de una encuesta nacional de opinión pública sobre el aborto]

    García SG; Tatum C; Becker D; Swanson KA; Lockwood K

    Reproductive Health Matters. 2004; 12 Suppl 24:65-74.

    In Mexico, recent political events have drawn increased public attention to the subject of abortion. In 2000, using a national probability sample, we surveyed 3,000 Mexicans aged 15-65 about their knowledge and opinions on abortion. Forty-five per cent knew that abortion was sometimes legal in their state, and 79% felt that abortion should be legal in some circumstances. A majority of participants believed that abortion should be legal when a woman's life is at risk (82%), a woman's health is in danger (76%), pregnancy results from rape (64%) or there is a risk of fetal impairment (53%). Far fewer respondents supported legal abortion when a woman is a minor (21%), for economic reasons (17%), when a woman is single (11%) or because of contraceptive failure (11%). In spite of the influence of the Church, most Mexican Catholics believed the Church and legislators' personal religious beliefs should not factor into abortion legislation, and most supported provision of abortions in public health services in cases when abortion is legal. To improve safe, legal abortion access in Mexico, efforts should focus on increasing public knowledge of legal abortion, decreasing the Church's political influence on abortion legislation, reducing the social stigma associated with sexuality and abortion, and training health care providers to offer safe, legal abortions. (author's)
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  7. 7
    Peer Reviewed

    Life and death decisions.

    Bane A; Brown L; Carter J; Cote C; Crider K

    International Social Work. 2003 Apr; 46(2):209-219.

    Genetics is a relatively new science with a wide range of applications that lead to an even broader range of issues. Since Darwin (1859) proposed his theory of evolution in Origin of the Species, scientists have been trying to locate the biological structures for the transmission of traits from generation to generation. The 20th century yielded considerable fruit in this endeavor. In fact, a complete map for this transmission process is close at hand. On 26 June 2000 Craig Venter, President Bill Clinton and Francis Collins announced the completion of an initial sequencing of the human genome (Hamilton and Regalado, 2001; Collins and McKusick, 2001; Collins, 1999; National Research Council, 2000). Called the Human Genome Project, this has already identified the genes determining Huntington's chorea, polycystic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and various other genetic diseases (Hodgkinson et al., 1990; Varekamp et al., 1990; Wertz et al., 1992). The purpose of the Human Genome Project is to identify, prevent or cure genetic abnormalities. As this research progresses, many preventions and cures for hereditary diseases seem to be within reach, although identification of these diseases is often the only recourse at this time (Hamilton and Noble, 1983; Paul, 1997; Von Wartburg and Liew, 1999). Currently, genetic screening is becoming increasingly available to the public (Fertel and Reiss, 1997; Rauch, 1988; Schroeder, 1991; Young and Robinson, 1984). History suggests that as testing procedures are made available, they are rapidly introduced to the American public. For example, shortly after the test for polio was discovered it was administered to millions of American children. (excerpt)
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  8. 8

    The polls-trends: abortion.

    Shaw GM

    Public Opinion Quarterly. 2003 Fall; 67(3):407-429.

    This article presents public opinion data from the late 1980s to 2003 on several key aspects of abortion that have comprised the central points of debate on this issue. These include the morality of abortions, whether they should be legal, proposed constitutional amendments that would ban abortion, and support for abortion access under various specific circumstances. Several arguably second-tier issues-federal funding, spousal and parental notification, and waiting periods-are also tracked over the past decade to fill out this overview of recent public opinion trends on abortion. Because of space limitations, this collection of poll trends comprises only a portion of the available data. Various survey organizations have also asked related questions, including questions on the perceived linkage between the demand for abortions and sexual promiscuity, perceptions of why women most often seek abortions, feelings of guilt after having an abortion, support for sex education in schools, positions of the Roman Catholic Church on abortion, federal funding for abortions for poor women, as well as variations on many of the questions presented here. Among the findings from those questions is that support for abortion is largely dependent on the perceived motivations and circumstances of women who seek the procedure. Support for abortions in cases of an unwanted gender or because the pregnancy may interfere with a woman's career tends to be very low, for instance, even though general support for abortion, as gauged by questions that do not present specific circumstances, remains, more often than not, the majority position. (excerpt)
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  9. 9

    Electoral politics and abortion.

    Shrage L

    Dissent. 2003 Fall; 67-73.

    Most Progressives would say the abortion debate is intractable because it reflects the huge gap between conservative Christian and secular humanist values. I'd like to offer another theory one not incompatible with this one, but a supplement to it. The abortion debate is intractable at this time because the two major political parties in the United States exploit this issue to pursue electoral majorities. Republicans use the abortion issue to forge coalitions with right-wing and fundamentalist Christian voters. Democrats use it to attract women voters. Neither party will risk modifying its rigid position for fear of alienating the constituencies that the abortion issue has helped attract. Opinion surveys over the past thirty years, however, indicate that the majority of Americans support some abortions as well as some restrictions. Most voters, that is, fall between the positions represented by those who refuse to recognize any problems with the legal status quo and those who want to change it radically. (excerpt)
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  10. 10

    Feminist working group on abortion formed in Chile.

    Gomez A

    Women's Health Journal. 2003 Jan-Mar; 1:11-14.

    The Mesa Feminista de Trabajosobre Aborto (Feminist Working Group on Abortion) is the initiative of a group of women interested in debating and analyzing this issue in a country with one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. Abortion is totally prohibited in Chile, even when the woman's life or health is at risk. Women who have abortions, those who provide abortion services, and anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion can be punished with jail sentences. (excerpt)
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  11. 11

    Refusal clauses: dangerous for women's health.

    NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation

    [Washington, D.C.], NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, 2003 Jan 21. 8 p.

    Refusal clauses (sometimes called “conscience” clauses) permit a broad range of individuals and institutions — including hospitals, hospital employees, health care providers, employers, and insurers — to refuse to provide, pay, counsel or even refer for medical treatment based on their moral or religious views. (excerpt)
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  12. 12

    Abortion perspectives and pollsters' questions.

    Adamek RJ

    Sociological Focus. 1998 Aug; 31(3):303-312.

    In measuring public opinion about controversial issues, pollsters strive for balanced and comprehensive coverage of the subject. This type of coverage may be undermined, however, when one perspective of the issue tends to predominate in society. This point is illustrated by a review of questions major pollsters asked about the abortion issue over an eight-year period. The data suggest that in querying the public about abortion rights, in describing the legal and empirical realities of the abortion situation and in seeking the public's reaction to abortion politics and policy, pollsters tended to reflect the dominant pro-choice perspective. (author's)
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  13. 13

    Abortion: an eternal social and moral issue.

    Instructional Aides

    Plano, Texas, Instructional Aides, 1984. 78 p. (A Guide on Current Topics)

    This document provides readers with a review of the history of the controversy regarding abortion, a summary of the major positions on both sides of this debate, and an assessment of public opinion regarding abortion. It draws heavily on research materials from the Centers for Disease Control, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and the Population Council. Chapter 1 sets the abortion issue in historical perspective. Chapter 2 focuses on US Supreme Court decisions, while Chapter 3 discusses Congressional activities. Chapter 4 presents statistical data on the abortion rate in the US, demographic characteristics of abortion seekers, abortion techniques, and abortion-related mortality. Chapter 5 surveys the status of abortion around the world. Chapter 6 presents survey results on public attitudes toward abortion. Chapters 7 and 8 include statements from national leaders who believe abortion should not and should, respectively, be outlawed, while Chapters 9 and 10 present statements on both side of the debate as to whether the moment human life begins can be determined. Appendix I presents excerpts from Vatican position papers on abortion. Appendix II summarizes US laws, state by state, that limit access to abortion. Appendix III cites federal laws restricting abortion funding. Appendix IV presents proposed abortion legislation. And finally, Appendix V lists addresses of organizations that support abortion, organizations that oppose abortion, and institutions that maintain statistics on abortions in the US. Instructional Aides provides similar documents on a number of social issues, including aging, health, immigration, minorities, and women.
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  14. 14

    [Mexico. The debate and its demands] Mexico. El debate y sus demandas.

    GIRE. 1998 Sep; (18):5.

    The debate on abortion unleashed in July 1998 by remarks of Mexico's Secretary of Health has prompted dozens of individuals and institutions from all sectors to make their views known. The principal arguments have been that the secrecy in which abortion is practiced is damaging to public health and mental health in a society where between 850,000 and 1 million abortions and around 1000 maternal deaths from abortion occur annually. Considering that it is a grave problem experienced by millions of Mexicans, the scarcity of medical information and over-abundance of religious ideology are regrettable. The opposition of the Catholic hierarchy and allied groups to decriminalization, or even to consultation of the people, reveal fear that what surveys reveal is true: society is inclined to leave decisions about abortion to the woman and her partner. At least three indications are recognized as justifiable motives for abortion by a large number of people: rape, preserving the life of the mother, and congenital anomalies.
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  15. 15

    [Women's opinions on abortion legalization in a county in southern Brazil] Opiniao de mulheres sobre a legalizacao do aborto em municipio de porte medio no sul do Brasil.

    Cesar JA; Gomes G; Horta BL; de Oliveira AK; Saraiva AK; Pardo DO; Silva LM; Rodghiero CL; Gross MR

    Revista de Saude Publica / Journal of Public Health. 1997 Dec; 31(6):566-71.

    A questionnaire-based study was carried out in the city of Rio Grande, Brazil, during January and February 1995, enlisting 1456 women of reproductive age (15-49 years) to obtain information about demographic, socioeconomic, and reproductive variables and seek their opinions about the issue of legalization of abortion. Approximately 15% were adolescents (15-19 years of age), 60% were aged 20-39, and the rest were 40 years old or older. Approximately 20% of them had already undergone at least 1 abortion. 25% of these interventions were done by using misoprostol. 30% of the women were in favor of legalizing abortion in any situation. The main reason cited was the lack of necessary finances to guarantee an acceptable quality of life for the child (53%); 17% agreed that legalization would reduce the incidence of clandestine abortions and consequently maternal morbidity and mortality. Among women who opposed the legalization, 26% said abortion should not be used for contraception; 20% considered it a crime. Only 20% of the low-income family women concurred with the legalization of abortion, whereas 41% of those did whose family income was 6 times the minimum monthly earnings. Only 13% among the illiterate group of women approved legalization versus 50% of the women who had 12 or more years of education (p < 0.001). A multivariate analysis indicated that the opinion in favor of legalization was 2.1 times higher among women aged 45 years or older in comparison to women aged 15-19 years. The odds ratio and relative risk of such opinion among women with 9 or more years of education was approximately 5 times higher than among women without any schooling. The odds ratio of favoring legalization of abortion among women who had deliberately interrupted their pregnancy was 3.3.
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  16. 16

    Two thirds of Americans have misperceptions about the percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion in the U.S. Public overestimates the percentage of total abortions occurring among teens and minorities. Overwhelming majority of Americans view unplanned pregnancy as a major problem in the U.S. News release.

    Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

    Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 1995 Jan 30. [3] p.

    In 1994, 2002 US adults took part in a random-sample, telephone survey designed to elicit information on the extent of public knowledge about abortion and unplanned pregnancy. The results indicated that only a third of respondents were able to estimate the number of pregnancies ending in abortion within 20% of the actual figure. More than 40% overestimated the figure by more than 10%. Women and younger adults were more likely to overestimate the figure, with the most difference occurring between the estimates offered by younger women and older men. Most respondents (60%) also incorrectly stated that adolescents account for at least half of all abortions when they actually account for only 25%. Most respondents (57%) also believed that minority women account for at least 40% of all abortions when they actually account for less than a third. Half of the respondents understood that US women have more abortions than women in other developed countries, and 49% believed the abortion rate is increasing while 42% believed it is decreasing. The rate has remained fairly stable for the past 20 years. The survey results indicate that the public considers unplanned pregnancy a major problem that has increased in the past decade.
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  17. 17

    The Kaiser Survey on Public Knowledge and Attitudes on Contraception and Unplanned Pregnancy: abortion rates.

    Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

    Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 1994. [4] p. (94-1427B-01a)

    The 1994 Kaiser Foundation Survey on Public Knowledge and Attitudes on Contraception and Unplanned Pregnancy included telephone interviews with a nationally representative, random sample of 2002 adult US men and women. This document presents the questionnaire and mean responses for the section on abortion rates. Respondents estimated that 35% of pregnancies in the US were terminated by induced abortion. 49% perceived the US abortion rate to be increasing, 41% thought it was remaining the same, and 8% believed it was decreasing. 49% of respondents considered the abortion rate to be higher in the US than in other developed countries (e.g., Canada, Great Britain, Germany), 28% thought it was about the same, and 16% considered it to be lower in the US. They estimated that 49% of US abortions involved teenagers, 46% were for low-income women, and 42% involved minority women. They further believed that 31% of all US women 12-50 years old had had an abortion. Unplanned pregnancy was viewed as a very big problem in the US by 60%, somewhat of a big problem by 30%, not a very big problem by 5%, and not a problem at all by 2%. Compared with a decade ago, the percentage of US women with unplanned pregnancies was considered much higher by 27%, higher by 42%, about the same by 20%, lower by 8%, and much lower by 1%.
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  18. 18
    Peer Reviewed

    Abortion: a social, legal and juridical debate of the first order in Colombia.

    Posada C

    REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH MATTERS. 1997 May; (9):147-8.

    Adoption of Colombia's 1991 Constitution has sparked debate on issues such as abortion, and the rulings of Constitutional Court judges, while still anti-abortion, have begun to reflect divided opinions about women's reproductive freedom. Abortion remains illegal and, in the past 2 years, the Court has decided two cases in favor of punishing women who had abortions, even in cases of rape. In reaching these conclusions, six of the nine judges argued that the constitution fails to protect reproductive rights, that women's dignity is not compromised by continuing a pregnancy caused by rape, and that the criminalization of abortion does not violate a couple's right to decide the number of their children. The dissenting opinion, however, held that a fetus has no juridical existence and cannot be protected by fundamental rights, that the right of reproductive autonomy is related to Constitutional norms, and that it is unjust to force a woman to continue a pregnancy resulting from rape. The judges holding the minority opinion accused the majority of exhibiting a lack of impartiality by adopting the official Roman Catholic position about abortion. The addition of three high court judges to those who are calling for decriminalization of abortion has stimulated increased objective debate about abortion in Colombia.
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  19. 19

    Do women legislators matter? Female legislators and state abortion policy.

    Berkman MB; O'Connor RE

    In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 268-84.

    This document is the 15th chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new politics" of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) and the last in a section devoted to an examination of state abortion policy and politics. This chapter analyzes the impact of female state legislators on abortion legislation. The study hypothesizes that the presence of a significant number of female legislators, especially Democrats, will affect state abortion policy at the committee level (where bills can be blocked). This study concludes that parental consent regulations and public funding of abortion are distinct dimensions of state abortion policy and uses three measures of state opinion toward abortion (Roman Catholic membership, proportion of professional women in the adult female population, and membership in the National Abortion Rights Action League). A table illustrates a simple model of state public funding and parental notification policies which indicates that women legislators may make a difference in parental notification legislation but not in funding policies. This test confirms the validity of Thomas's 1991 hypothesis that the presence of a threshold number of women legislators is important in predicting state abortion policy outputs regarding parental notification and indicates that to have an effect, these women must be Democrats. The analysis then examines post-Webster bills to determine how women may have influenced their fate in committees (which would indicate that the presence of women on key committees is more important than the number of women legislators). It is concluded that states with the fewest women and those most likely to pass anti-abortion legislation have Democratic women on committees blocking this legislation. Using the scales developed in this study, it is predicted that most state policies will remain stable even if Roe were overturned.
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  20. 20

    Differences in public policies toward abortion. Electoral and policy context.

    Hansen SB

    In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 222-48.

    This document is the 13th chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new" politics of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) and the fourth of six chapters in a section devoted to an examination of state abortion policy and politics. This chapter reports on research which indicates that the proportion of women in state legislature has an effect on state abortion policy and that abortion restrictions are less likely to be implemented in states with more women elected officials. The chapter also considers whether mobilization by women contributes to a lack of relationship between policy enactment (restrictions) and policy outcomes (stable abortion rates). After reviewing the extent and reason for state differences in abortion rates and restrictions, it is noted that general support for women's rights is not necessarily linked with abortion legislation or other feminist policies. After describing six possible indicators of mobilization by women, the functional form of the relationship between the strongest indicator (the proportion of women in the state legislature) is tested against several measures of state policies affecting women. Finally, the impact of state politics and policies on state abortion rates is considered and it is found that abortion rates have remained stable despite state restrictions. State restrictions, however, may result in more women seeking out-of-state abortions. Mobilization by women has little independent impact on the enactment of policies supportive of equal rights for women but may reduce the erosion of public commitment to feminist policies. It is concluded that actual reductions in abortion rates may be achieved by increased spending on welfare and family planning rather than through restricted policies.
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  21. 21

    Public opinion, interest groups, and public policy making. Abortion policy in the American states.

    Cohen JE; Barrilleaux C

    In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 203-21.

    This document is the 12th chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new" politics of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) and the third of six chapters in a section devoted to an examination of state abortion policy and politics. This chapter assesses the impact of the Supreme Court's Webster and Casey decisions on state-level abortion policy-making and considers who wins when public opinion collides with interest groups. After briefly reviewing the Webster and Casey decisions, public support for abortion is shown to be significant but to increase for abortions in special circumstances (calling for caution when matching public opinion to specific policies). The public opinion data base for this study was the 1990 Washington Post Exit Poll which surveyed 9444 voters from 41 states and the District of Columbia. The chapter continues with a consideration of the influence of interest groups on state policy and of the dependent variable of state abortion policy (whether the state passed legislation calling for a constitutional ban on abortion). An initial examination is then made of whether abortion policy is a function of ideology, partisanship, or abortion demand. After concluding that none of these are related to state abortion policy, the impact of state public opinion on abortion and the mobilization of the interest group system is estimated on state action on the constitutional ban. This reveals that when opinion is narrowly divided or leans slightly to one side, the opposing interest groups may prevail. Public opinion can only consistently defeat organized interests when it is nearly consensual. After projecting a simulation onto the post-Webster age to discern the policy implications, it is concluded that the post-Webster and Casey changes in political venue may not result in much substantive change in policy and that interest groups can sometimes block public opinion in the policy-making process.
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  22. 22

    Abortion opinion and policy in the American states.

    Goggin ML; Wlezien C

    In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 190-202.

    This document is the 11th chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new" politics of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) and the second of six chapters in a section devoted to an examination of state abortion policy and politics. This chapter examines the relationship between the abortion attitudes held by state residents and the abortion policies of their states. The chapter opens by noting that the states now dictate the future of abortion policy and by reviewing relevant studies. A thermostatic model is then presented of state abortion opinion and policy which relates absolute state preferences (what state residents want in terms of abortion policy), state abortion policy, and relative state preferences (what people want relative to existing abortion policy). The model hypothesizes that state relative and absolute preferences are positively related, but that the former is negatively and the latter positively related to state abortion policy. Data gathered from 1990 CBS/New York Times polls in 42 states are used to examine the connections empirically at a single point in time. The restrictiveness of abortion policy is calculated by summing the value of the states' abortion laws on a range of 1-18. The analysis reveals that a positive, but modest, relationship exists between state absolute preferences and state abortion policy. Also, absolute and relative state preferences are closely related, and the unexplained variation seen in relative preferences may be due to the restrictiveness of the policy itself. It appears that state voters respond to abortion policy and adjust their preferences for more or less policy activity according to what policy is actually made.
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  23. 23

    Religion and roll-call voting in Idaho. The 1990 abortion controversy.

    Witt SL; Moncrief G

    In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 123-33.

    This document is the seventh chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new" politics of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) and the second of four chapters in a section devoted to an exploration of conflict in a variety of institutional settings. This chapter analyzes the legislative behavior of politicians in Idaho during a 1990 abortion controversy caused by the passage and veto of bill H625 which would have created the most restrictive abortion law in the US. In this study, the unit of analysis was the individual legislator and the dependent variable was the vote. Independent variables were the legislator's gender, party affiliation, and religion and the legislative district's religious composition. After an introduction, the chapter describes the Bill and its legislative journey from its introduction on February 9th to its veto on March 31st. The literature on legislative decision-making is reviewed to explain that this vote can be categorized as an "abnormal" decision based on factors which differ from the norm. It was found that 41/46 members of the Mormon church, 21/59 Protestants, and 10/20 Catholics voted for H625. The pro-choice position was supported by 65% of the female and 36% of the male legislators and by 26/39 Democrats but only 27/86 Republicans. In the subsequent 1990 election, the primary sponsor and author of the Senate version of the bill and the Senate Majority Leader were defeated by pro-choice women. The sponsor won reelection in 1992 after promising not to pursue abortion legislation. Anti-abortion groups have indicated that they will again seek legislation to restrict abortion rights if a pro-life governor is elected in the state.
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  24. 24

    What if abortion were illegal? Policy alternatives won't be easy.

    Dran EM; Bowers JR

    In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 89-103.

    This chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new" politics of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) is the fifth and final chapter in a section dealing with conflict; in this case, conflicting values and attitudes among anti-abortion and pro-choice supporters presented with adoption as an alternative to abortion. It is hypothesized that it is relatively easy to have an opinion supporting adoption as an alternative for abortion but that this support lessens when it is linked to government financing for adoption. The analysis first examines the structure of support for adoption and public funding separately and then links the issues through a four-part typology showing support for adoption and public funding of it, rejection of both options, and support for one option but not the other. It is found that the most support for adoption as a solution to abortion comes from the socially conservative predisposed against abortion. The strongest predictor of adoption funding support is support for funding abortion (social welfare spending). Other predictors are opposition to abortion (positively related) and age (negatively related). While supporters of adoption as an alternative are generally opposed to public spending on social welfare, dedicated supporters of adoption appear willing to lessen their resistance to government spending to pursue their favored alternative to abortion. Abortion supporters generally already favor social welfare spending and have nothing to offer a compromise on financing. It is concluded that policy alternatives to abortion for unwanted pregnancy would be difficult to fashion and that potential compromise would more likely be successful if it were directed towards contraception.
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  25. 25

    Introduction. A framework for understanding the new politics of abortion.

    Goggin ML

    In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 1-18.

    This introductory chapter to a book which describes the new politics of abortion in the US provides a framework for understanding the new situation and predicting future developments. The chapter outlines the parameters of the new politics of abortion ushered in by the 1989 Supreme Court decision in Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services which gave states more leeway to regulate access to abortion. These parameters are described by contrasting the "old" and "new" politics of abortion in terms of the political context which is described through consideration of major abortion court cases from 1973 to the present, attitudes expressed toward the legality of abortion from 1975 to 1988, and the activities of pro-choice and anti-abortion groups by year and type for 1985-89. The chapter then provides a framework which enhances understanding of this new political situation by assessing the scope and nature of the abortion conflict (in terms of religious, political, ideological, gender, class, and racial conflict) and the institutional context which provides an arena for this conflict. Abortion conflict can be understood by 1) considering Schattschneider's concept of the losing side's tactic of "expanding the scope of the conflict" versus the winning side's efforts to contain the scope of the conflict to maintain the favorable balance of power and 2) applying Greenstone and Peterson's distinction between "ideological" and "pluralistic" bargaining (abortion politics is characterized by pluralistic bargaining because each side is trying to defeat the other side rather than to persuade it to change its position). The chapter ends by posing the questions which will be addressed in the book and presenting the plan of the book.
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