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Family Planning Perspectives. January-February 1975; 7(1):13-22.A systematic review of national and local press coverage of congressional races makes possible a general appraisal of the significance of the abortion issue in the 1974 general election; analysis of polls conducted by congresspersons offers further clues to voter sentiment regarding this issue. Congressional initiatives in regard to abortion following the 1973 Supreme Court decision fell into 3 major categories: 1) introduction of proposals for constitutional amendments to reverse the Supreme Court decision; 2) efforts to exempt both individuals and institutions from having to perform or to allow the performance of abortion; 3) attempts to prohibit or restrict the use of federal funds for abortion in domestic or foreign programs. Many districts are so "safe" that the incumbent is virtually assured of election without campaigning, so a more reliable test of the importance of the abortion issue is to examine what happened to those incumbents whose hold over their districts was generally acknowledged to be insecure or who faced especially strong challengers. The voting records and election outcomes of 119 incumbents were scrutinized. Incumbents from unsafe districts fared considerably more poorly than those from safe areas in the 1974 elections. 1% of the safe incumbents lost compared to 31% of those whose races were considered close. Antiabortion candidates from unsafe districts had a much higher casualty rate (39%) than proabortion candidates (8%); while those with mixed records fared about the same as congresspersons from unsafe districts generally. Among Republicans running in close races, 42% of the antiabortion incumbents were defeated, about the same porportion of casualties as among Republicans in unsafe districts generally. Among Democrats, all of the 12 proabortion incumbents from unsafe districts were reelected, while 2 of the 8 who voted consistently in opposition were defeated. When party affiliation is controlled and attention is on those districts where a single issue might conceivably have made the difference between victory and defeat, the losses among antiabortion incumbents were heavier than those losses among those who voted in favor of legal abortion. The data show conclusively that support of legal abortion does not constitute political suicide.
Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization. 1975; 9(3):196-207.Chilean attitudes toward the national population's size and growth rate was explored by a special survey. The survey sample consisted of 1410 men aged 20-54 in urban Santiago, of whom 1030 were actually interviewed by 36 students from the University of Chile who based their interview on a prepared questionnaire including both open-ended and multiple-choice questions. The men were separated into 6 catagories on the basis of their education and socioeconomic status. The results clearly indicate that men in the lower socioeconomic categories tended to know less about the population's size and growth than their more affluent counterparts. Nevertheless, they more often felt that Chile had too many people, that recent population growth had been rapid, and that population growth should be reduced. (AUTHOR'S MODIFIED)
In: Godwin, R., ed. Comparative policy analysis: the study of population determinants in developing countries. Lexington, Massachusetts, D.C. Heath, 1975. p. 157-172During the past 20 years, which have been a period of change in the acceptance of fertility control, a number of public opinion surveys were conducted in many countries. While these studies were often limited by the methodology used, they may still be viewed as historical documents that are indicative of general social conditions, which may in turn be represented as a set of abstract variables. The techniques of scale analysis, multivariate analysis, and clustering are the tools appropriat e for this task; rank order of size or approximate order of magnitude is the result to be achieved. An example is given using 2 sets of multinational surveys, one by USIA and the other by CELADE.
Journal of Biosocial Science. October 1975; 7(4):435-444.A survey was conducted in 1973 in the Republic of Ireland on the opinions of 754 married women and 194 husbands on the practice of contraception and on the government ban on and the desired availability of contraception. The ban has since been lifted. 54.1% of the women said that the had used family planning at some time. The safe period was the leading method, used by 55%, followed by the pill, which was used by 15.6%. Coitus interruptus was third, being used by 10.2%. Differences in use were found according to age, residence, and social class. Contraception was the highest in the 30-34 age group and in urban areas, where 61% used contraception, compared to 39% in rural areas. Younger women and those of the professional classes tended more toward artificial methods of contraception. Only 3.3% of the agricultural class used an artificial method. More than 75% wanted the government ban on contraceptives repealed. Yet, only 5.5% wanted contraceptives to be made freely available to everybody. Most wanted them restricted to married couples and by prescription only.