Abortion policy: an evaluation of the consequences for by Jerome S. Legge

By Jerome S. Legge

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Page 7 The second type of social science research which deals with abortion policy is concerned primarily with the determinants of public policy. The question of which factors determine a liberal or conservative policy on the availability of abortion services is a typical subject investigated. For example, Field, utilizing a sample primarily of "developed" nations, found that the degree of liberality or conservatism in abortion policies could be explained by a combination of socioeconomic and political variables.

It can be government, organized religion, or a person's own philosophical or spiritual beliefs that help him/her decide the issue, but the individual's final choice always is open to debate. No doubt, many thoughtful people are constantly challenged in their beliefs on abortion both in their own thinking processes and from others. In speaking of the two extremes of public opinion, Potts, Diggory, and Peel point out that abortion essentially needs to be seen as a pragmatic issue, with its morality varying from case to case.

14 In the United States, demographic and political variables are of limited usefulness in predicting attitudes about abortion, while religious factors are far more powerful. Social class and political party identification appear to have negligible predictive value, probably because the parties themselves are not rigidly structured on any set of political and ideological issues, and because the concept of class is a much weaker predictor of political behavior in the American in contrast to the European context.

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