Abortion opinion research in Latin America and the Caribbean: A review of the literature
Yam,Eileen A.; Dries-Daffner,Ingrid; Garcia,Sandra G.
Studies in Family Planning 37(4): 225-240
Publication date: 2006
Abortion laws in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are highly restrictive and may not reflect public opinion on the issue. In recent years, LAC governments have begun to openly discuss the once taboo topic of abortion and recent decades have seen increased interest in and demand for abortion public opinion data in these countries. We sought to synthesize the literature on LAC abortion public opinion. We searched standard computer indexing services and polled colleagues at regional fora to identify LAC abortion opinion studies published between 1985 and 2005. Of the 26 studies that met inclusion criteria, 22 took place in Mexico or Brazil, with the remaining four from Argentina or Colombia. The majority of populations surveyed support abortion under a greater number of circumstances than are permitted in their respective countries. Future abortion opinion surveys should ask about opinions on abortion legislation rather than about abstract acceptance of abortion. Questions must be carefully worded to reflect the public's nuanced and complex views on this issue.