Public Opinion About the Legalization of Abortion in Mexico City
Council researchers conducted three representative abortion public opinion studies among Mexico City residents just prior to and one and two years after the groundbreaking legalization of abortion.
In the ever-changing sociopolitical and legal context of abortion in Mexico, high-quality abortion public opinion research offers an important tool to inform progressive advocacy and policy change. It has been nearly three years since the passage of the vanguard Mexico City abortion law that has enabled over 38,000 women to receive high-quality, legal first-trimester abortions in the capital.
In order to understand abortion knowledge and opinion in Mexico City during this historic time, the Population Council conducted three representative public opinion surveys among Mexico City residents, just prior to reform in mid-April 2007 (n=720), one year later in April 2008 (n=1,010), and two years post-reform in May 2009 (n=1,017).
In all three surveys, the average age of respondents was 37 years, and most were married/in consensual unions (51%, 50%, 54%, for 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively), had high school education or less (82%, 84%, 78%), and reported attending church infrequently or never (41%, 40%, 47%). Researchers observed a statistically significant increase in knowledge about the law (from 73% to 80% to 85%) over the three years. There was a statistically significant increase in favorable opinion about the Mexico City law—from only 38 percent pre-reform to 63 percent in 2008 and 73 percent in 2009. Furthermore, 83 percent of respondents in 2009 wanted the law extended to other states, a significant increase from 69 percent in 2008 and 52 percent in 2007. In the two post-reform surveys, characteristics independently associated with being in favor of the Mexico City law were higher education and attending church less frequently; in 2008, men had significantly greater odds than women of supporting the law.
Findings suggest a favorable increase to clear majorities both in abortion knowledge and opinion among Mexico City residents in the two years since the Mexico City law passed, which has clear implications for Mexican policymakers, advocates, and reproductive health service providers.
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Location: Mexico (Mexico City)
Safe abortion and postabortion care
Duration: 4/2007 - 5/2009