How has Mexico City public opinion on abortion changed one year since the groundbreaking law passed? Findings from a public opinion survey
Poster presentation at the American Public Health Association 137th Annual Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, 9 November
Wilson,Katherine; Garcia,Sandra G.; Diaz,Claudia; Valencia,Jorge; Sanhueza,Patricio
Publication date: 2009
In April 2008, marking the one-year anniversary of the vanguard legalization of abortion in Mexico City, we conducted an abortion public opinion survey among Mexico City residents. Public opinion research is an important tool to strengthen pro-choice advocacy strategies and legislation.
(1) Assess change in abortion knowledge and opinion pre-and one-year post-reform in Mexico City Mexico; (2) Assess correlates of favorable abortion opinion post-reform.
We administered a quantitative survey on abortion knowledge and opinion to a household probability sample of Mexico City residents in April 2008 (+/- 2.33, 95% confidence). With SPSS 13.0, we conducted bivariate analysis to assess differences with the pre-reform survey (April 2007) and multivariate analysis of 2008 data to identify correlates of favorable abortion opinion.
1,010 Mexico City residents aged 15 and older participated. Knowledge of the new law increased significantly one year post-reform (72% to 84%, p<0.01). Support for legal abortion also increased significantly from 38 percent to 63 percent (26% opposed and 11% no opinion; p<0.05). Most (69%) wanted the law extended throughout Mexico. Multivariate analysis showed that higher education, male sex, and less-frequent religious services attendance were significantly associated with more favorable opinion about the new abortion law.
Favorable public opinion in Mexico City about abortion and the new law has increased significantly one year post-reform, which is very positive for ongoing advocacy efforts in Mexico and elsewhere in the region. This dramatic shift in public opinion can be explained in part by the Mexican feminists and pro-choice movement's well-executed information campaigns over the past year.
(1) Describe how abortion knowledge and opinion is assessed in Mexico; (2) Describe some key factors of more favorable abortion opinion; (3) Explain how public opinion research on abortion can be used for advocacy.