Where Does the Mexican Public Stand on Abortion? Assessing Abortion Public Opinion among Mexico City Residents before and after the Passage of the Groundbreaking Legalization of Abortion

Sandra García, Population Council
Katherine Wilson, Population Council
Claudia Díaz-Olavarrieta, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP)
Migel Angel Mendoza Melendez, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP)
Patricio Sanhueza, Ministry of Health, Mexico

Two years ago, the Mexico City Legislature approved a groundbreaking law legalizing elective first-trimester abortions. We conducted public opinion studies with household probability samples of Mexico City residents before (April 2007) and one year after (April 2008) legal reform. We performed bivariate analysis (SPSS 14.0) to assess changes in abortion knowledge and opinion between years and multivariate analysis to assess correlates of favorable abortion opinion post-reform. Pre-reform and post-reform surveys had 800 and 1,010 participants, respectively (+/- 4.2 and +/- 2.33; 95% confidence). There were statistically significant increases in knowledge (73% vs. 82%) and favorable opinions of the new law (38% vs. 63%) post-reform (p<0.05). In multivariate analysis, higher education remained significantly associated with favorable abortion opinion while female gender and more frequent church attendance were associated with less favorable opinion. Abortion public opinion research is valuable for advocates, decision-makers and service providers especially in countries reforming their abortion laws.

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Presented in Session 48: Abortion Prevalence, Measurement and Programs