Population Association of America Annual Meeting
31 March–2 April 2011
"Public opinion about abortion-related stigma among Mexican Catholics and implications for unsafe abortion"
Sandra Garcia, Katherine Wilson, Stephanie McMurtrie, and Claudia Diaz-Olavarrieta
Abortion stigma can be a factor in whether a woman accesses a safe abortion procedure or an unsafe clandestine abortion. We conducted a nationally representative household probability survey among self-identified Catholics in Mexico. To measure abortion stigma, respondents were presented with a hypothetical situation about a young woman who decided to have an abortion, and were then asked their personal opinion of this woman and how an abortion may impact her. Based on a stigma index, we found that the majority (55%) of Mexicans have stigmatizing attitudes about abortion, however, 82 percent of participants believe that abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances. Disagreement with the Mexico City law and believing that abortion should be prohibited in all cases were significant predictors of stigmatizing abortion. The stigma can lead women to seek unsafe abortions in an attempt to avoid judgment by society, which ultimately puts women's lives at risk.
firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 212 339 0509
Media-friendly services include:
- Arranging interviews with Council researchers
- Providing electronic and traditional format press kits
- Assisting in article development
Contacts and Resources
The Population Council welcomes Landis MacKellar as co-editor of Population and Development Review.