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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.
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]
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)