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  1. 1

    Abortion in the United States and Canada: a comparative study of public opinion.

    Chandler MA; Cook EA; Jelen TG; Wilcox C

    In: Abortion politics in the United States and Canada: studies in public opinion, edited by Ted G. Jelen and Marthe A. Chandler. Westport, Connecticut, Praeger, 1994. 131-43.

    Differences in the political cultures of Canada and the US are reflected in the analysis of opinions on abortion law based on religious, attitudinal, and demographic factors. In general, individualism and religion have different manifestations in Canada versus the US, and country similarities obscure important cultural differences. Religious differences include the more religious affiliation in the US than in Canada or other industrialized countries, the greater religious practice and presence of US Protestant fundamentalism, and the strong tradition of the separation of church and state. Abortion laws are similar in invalidating acts of the legislature in the national Supreme Courts that limited access to abortion. However, in the US, the Roe decision established "rights" to legal abortion. In Canada, the Morgenthaler decision invalidated a section of Offenses Against the Person and did not outrule the possibility of future anti-abortion legislation. The US decision in Webster also established that the legislatures operate within judicially imposed limits. Data were obtained from the 1988 US National Election Study and the 1988 Canadian National Election Study. A variety of independent variables was used to explain attitudes toward abortion law: Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism, views of the Bible, frequency of church attendance, and the subjective importance of religion. Other variables pertained to the role of women in society (feminism and the role of women in business) and explanatory variables (education, gender, marital status, labor force participation, income, age, and parental status). Canadians supported abortion slightly more than US citizens (2.35 versus 2.25 on an index score). Demographic factors explained very little of the abortion attitudes in either country. Religious variables had the best explanatory power. Catholicism was related to opposition to legal abortion in the US, and evangelical Protestantism was related to legal abortion in Canada. Church attendance had a stronger effect in Canada, and biblical view and religious importance was stronger in the US. Religious variables in the US were weaker but more widespread. The individualism of US political culture and mistrust of government mediated the effect of religion. In the regional analysis, religion in the US acted as a point of criticism, while in Canada it acted as legitimation.
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  2. 2

    Public opinion on fertility and population problems: results of a 1990 survey.

    Bodrova V

    In: Demographic trends and patterns in the Soviet Union before 1991, edited by Wolfgang Lutz, Sergei Scherbov, and Andrei Volkov. New York, New York/London, England, Routledge, 1994. 231-47.

    The results of the All Union Center for Public Opinion and Market Research 1990 Demographic Survey in the USSR are reported. The sample included 2708 persons aged 16 years and older from 28 towns and 13 villages in Russia, the Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The results indicated that the ideal family size was 2-3 children: 41% desired 2 children, 34% desired 3 children, and 13% desired 4 or more children. About 2% desired childlessness and about 6% desired one child. Fertility preferences varied between regions. 3 children were desired by 48% in Estonia, 46% in Tajikistan, and 41% in Uzbekistan. 2 children were desired by 43% in the Ukraine and 41% in Russia. 1 child was desired most frequently in the Ukraine (13%). 17% of Georgians desired 6 or more children. 6% of Russians desired a large family of 6 children. Fertility desires were higher in rural areas: 18% in Moscow desired 3 children compared to 39% in district centers and 41% in villages. As age increased, the desire for 3 children increased. The proportion desiring 3 children did not vary widely between republics. However, twice as many Russians desired 2 children as other nationalities. Higher income was related to lower family size desired. Findings confirmed that fertility in Soviet Central Asia was moving toward demographic transition. Over 50% favored pro-natalist population policies; pronatalist policies were supported more in republics with a low birth rate, such as Russia and Tajikistan. Respondents in Kazakhstan and Estonia included the largest proportion against a pro-natalist population policy. Only 8% supported decreased fertility. Estonians and Kazakhstanians included a larger proportion favoring lower fertility in high fertility regions. 77% of respondents with 3 or more children aged under 15 years indicated that raising children was their main purpose in life; particularly strong support for children occurred among Uzbeks, Estonians, Georgians, and Tajiks. 25% of Moscow respondents considered lack of birth control the reason for large families. Other possible reasons for large families were: religious beliefs; privileges; irresponsibility; other; and no opinion. Irresponsibility was mentioned by over 25% of respondents. 54% considered low income of young families a problem, and 55% indicated that the double work load of women was a problem. Aging and employment were also considered problems by those most affected. About 33% were not supportive of refugees.
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  3. 3

    Abortion factbook. 1992 edition. Readings, trends, and state and local data to 1988.

    Henshaw SK; Van Vort J

    New York, New York, Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1992 Apr. 212 p.

    This collection of articles and statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute Abortion Provider Survey of 1987-88 and selected statistics from states and local areas in 1988 gives an overview, and focuses on abortion services, user profile, politics and public opinion, state laws, and legal developments. 40% of the world's population live in countries permitting induced abortion on request. 25% live in countries where it is allowed only when a woman's life is in danger. 26-31 million legal abortions and 10-22 million clandestine abortions were performed in the world in 1987. Abortions rates vary from a low of 5/1000 in the Netherlands to a high of 112/1000 in the Soviet Union.l Mortality averages .6/100,000 procedures in developed countries. There is a trend toward abortion liberalization. The facts in the US are that 50% of pregnancies are unintended of which 50% are terminated by abortion. 1.6 million abortions occurred in the US in 1988 and 22 million between 1973 and 1988. 3 out of 100 women 15-44 years have an abortion. The abortion rate has fluctuated from 22/1000 in 1975 to 27/1000 women 15-44 years in 1988. Among developed nations, the US has one of the higher abortion rates. 58% are <25 years and 26% are teenagers <19 years. The highest rate is among 18-19 year olds (64/1000 women). Abortion is higher among unmarried women (56%), women >40 years (44%), teenagers (41%), and nonwhite women (39%) than among all women (29%). Unmarried women are 5 times more likely than married women to have an abortion and poor women 3 times more likely than economically better off women. Nonwhite abortion is twice the white rate (57 vs. 21/1000). hispanic women are 60% more likely than non-Hispanics to have abortions. Catholic women are as likely as all women to have an abortion and 30% more likely than Protestants. Of those who have an abortion after 15 weeks most are due to delayed detection of pregnancy and finances, but 89% of abortions occur during the 1st 12 weeks. Women tend to report more than 3 reasons for an abortion: 75%, interference with work, school, or other; 66%, insufficient funds; 50%, problems in a relationship. 9 out of 10 abortions are performed in clinics or doctor's offices. Providers declined by 4% between 1985 and 1988 and geographic distribution is uneven. In 1987, 12% of abortions were paid for with public funds.
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