Do Public Attitudes Toward Abortion Influence Attitudes Toward Family Planning? Findings from a Survey of Americans
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Since 1965 the United States has provided funds and technical assistance for voluntary family planning programs overseas. In 1970, a comparable program, Title X of the Public Health Services Act, was created for low-income and disadvantaged women in this country. Relatively noncontroversial in the early years of their existence, these programs in recent years have become linked to the emotionally charged debate over abortion. Our interviews in 1997 with legislative directors suggested that congressional swing voters who were opposed to abortion were less likely to support U.S. government funding for international family planning. These members felt that this view reflected their constituents attitudes as well. How closely do public attitudes mirror these impressions To address this question, RANDs Population Matters program asked a nationally representative sample of 1,500 Americans about their views on family planning and on abortion. The questions were part of a broader survey of public attitudes about global population trends and issues. The survey results suggest that attitudes toward abortion exert only a minor influence in shaping the American publics attitude toward family planning.
- Sociology and Law
- Medicine and Medical Research