Abortion in context: Historical trends and future changes.Summary
Reform of abortion laws in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. stemmed from concern over the health consequences of illegal abortion. Feminists were relative latecomers to the movement, and abortion did not become a major political issue until after the Roe v. Wade Roe v. Wade, case decided in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Along with Doe v. Bolton, this decision legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. decision by the Supreme Court. Most social scientists began to study public attitudes toward abortion, which have been relatively stable since that 1973 decision, only after the Supreme Court ruling, and they thus probably missed documenting the period in which the major attitudinal changes occurred.
Polls show that the American public is most likely to approve of abortion when there is a fetal defect and when the pregnancy endangers maternal health Maternal health care is a concept that encompasses preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care. Goals of preconception care can include providing health promotion, screening and interventions for women of reproductive age to reduce risk factors that might affect future pregnancies. or is the result of rape. These single reasons do not seem to jibe with the complexities of real life, however: The majority of women who have abortions indicate more than one reason for doing so, and the major reasons given concern the conflicting responsibilities of school, work and family and an inability to afford another child.
A view of the abortion controversy that puts it into a larger context than do most polls and most American research suggests that legal abortion in the United States Abortion in the United States is a highly charged issue with significant political and ethical debate. In a medical sense, the word abortion refers to any pregnancy that does not end in live birth, although it is sometimes medically defined as miscarriage or induced is unlikely to be jeopardized in the long run. The trend in most Western industrial nations is toward a more secularized society that features more individual discretion and less control by religious and political institutions over private aspects of life. In the immediate future, a number of factors will perpetuate the need for access to abortion. Among them are early sexual activity that often results in pregnancies among very young women; dim prospects for innovative technological advances in the contraceptive field; and the AIDS epidemic, which may result in the use of contraceptives that are more effective against that deadly virus but less effective at preventing pregnancy. Nor will abortion decisions become any easier for the families and individuals involved, as technology continues to advance in its ability to identify fetal defects and to keep alive babies born at earlier and earlier stages of gestation.
The Movement for Reform
Medical concern for the health consequences of illegal abortion stimulated reform of abortion laws in the United States, as it had earlier in the 20th century in Western Europe Western Europe
The countries of western Europe, especially those that are allied with the United States and Canada in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (established 1949 and usually known as NATO). . Reformers from the legal and public health fields, together with medical experts concerned for maternal health, predominated at the major national conferences on abortion in the United States in the 1940s-1960s. (1) These conferences in turn paved the way for legislative attempts to remove abortion from state penal codes, using as an example the model code developed by the American Law Institute. Hence, the American reform movement had its beginnings in professional circles; it was not on the agenda of the major American political parties in the 1960s, as it had been on the agenda of socialist parties in Western Europe since early in the 20th century. (2) American reform advocates joined the effort to remove abortion from penal codes with an argument for medical regulation of abortion that would follow the Swedish pattern, in which ho spital committees on abortion would grant or deny access to a legal abortion in their institutional setting.
American feminists were relative latecomers to the abortion reform movement. Early in the century, feminist effort was narrowly focused on campaigns to secure the right to vote. When the renascence of feminism began with the founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966, the focus was on securing wider opportunities for women in education, politics and the work force. NOW added reproductive freedom to its agenda two years later, at a stormy annual meeting that led to the withdrawal of several prominent Catholic members who went on to form the Women's Equity Action League, which retained an exclusive focus on economic issues. The NOW position on abortion centered on access to legal abortions for whatever reasons the woman, in her own judgment, found sufficient. This position led to an uneasy coalition between legal and medical advocates of reform on the one hand and feminist advocates on the other, (*) because the feminists rejected the notion that physicians, as experts "on top," should hold the power to grant or deny a woman's request for a legal abortion. In the feminist view, physicians should serve only as experts "on tap," to be consulted and to perform the abortions, not to control access to them.
Hence, the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 was the result of many years of concerted effort at legal and regulatory reform Regulatory Reform concerns improvements to the quality of government regulation.
At the international level, the "OECD Regulatory Reform Programme is aimed at helping governments improve regulatory quality -- that is, reforming regulations that raise unnecessary obstacles to of abortion. Professional concern for women's health Women's Health Definition
Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues. among lawyers and physicians contributed to a growing pressure for liberalization lib·er·al·ize
v. lib·er·al·ized, lib·er·al·iz·ing, lib·er·al·iz·es
To make liberal or more liberal: "Our standards of private conduct have been greatly liberalized . . . of the grounds for legal abortion, but this was a quiet, inconspicuous in·con·spic·u·ous
Not readily noticeable.
incon·spic movement compared with the highly vocal campaigns for the human rights of women, blacks, the elderly, the handicapped and even children. This broad and growing array of social movements This is a partial list of social movements.
Trends in Public Attitudes
The political and professional movement for legal reform was well under way before social scientists and polling organizations began to study public attitudes toward abortion. Attitudes had probably been slowly becoming more liberal long before the first national survey on the topic was conducted in 1965.
To chart an overview of trends in public attitudes toward abortion in the United States, we rely primarily upon data from the General Social Survey (GSS (storage) GSS - Group-Sweeping Scheduling. ), conducted each year by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC NORC National Opinion Research Center
NORC Naturally Occurring Retirement Community
NORC National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago
NORC Naval Ordnance Research Calculator
NORC North Oakland Republican Club (Waterford, MI) ) at the University of Chicago. Questions on approval or disapproval of legal abortion under a series of six circumstances were first included in a NORC national survey in 1965, then not again until 1972, when the annual GSS was initiated. The abortion questions were asked each year between 1972 and 1978, and subsequently on a less regular schedule, as NORC began to rotate its growing battery of social indicators of public opinion.
Figure 1 shows the trend in public attitudes toward abortion from 1965 to 1987. It reveals very dramatically that researchers who have limited their inspection of trends in abortion attitudes to the period beginning with the first GSS in 1972 have missed the most important period of attitudinal change that we can document with national data-the interval from 1965 to 1973. Speculation that the Supreme Court decision legitimizing abortion encouraged more liberal views has focused on the upturn in approval of abortion between 1972 and 1973, but that upturn was merely a continuation and culmination of an attitudinal change that had been taking place over the previous decade or more. (4)(*)
Since 1973, public support of legal abortion has shown a slight decline and a more erratic profile, with a dip measured in 1978 that some analysts attributed to growing strength in the right-to-life movement. But that same movement was just as active between 1978 and 1980, when the NORC survey seemed to indicate an upturn in liberal support. It is probably unwise to link minor shifts in public attitudes over a short span of years to specific political developments in the nation at large; this is particularly true of shifts found in a series of cross-sectional surveys in which different respondents are interviewed in each survey, as opposed to those found in a longitudinal study longitudinal study
a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study. of the same respondents interviewed several times over a period of years. The topics covered in the GSS surveys vary greatly from year to year; in any given year, some are repeat items that appear in every survey, while others appear for the first time or appear periodically. As a result, the questions preceding the abortion items in the NORC interviews have varied widely in topic-for example, attitudes toward divorce in 1977 and 1982, the qualities considered desirable in children and ideal family size in 1978, race relations race relations
the relations between members of two or more races within a single community
race relations npl → relaciones fpl raciales
in 1980, and victimization victimization Social medicine The abuse of the disenfranchised–eg, those underage, elderly, ♀, mentally retarded, illegal aliens, or other, by coercing them into illegal activities–eg, drug trade, pornography, prostitution. experience in 1983. (5) What appears to be year-to-year change in public attitudes on abortion may in fact reflect contextual or order effects caused by the sequence of questions within which the abortion items were embedded.
Most of the differences between the GSS results in the past decade amount to no more than a few percentage points. The least change, as indexed by the range in approval in the 12 surveys conducted between 1973 and 1987, concerns maternal health as a reason for abortion, a decline in approval of only five percentage points- from 91 percent in 1973 to 86 percent in 1987. The greatest change concerns abortion among unmarried women, a decline from 48 percent in 1973 to 38 percent in 1983. Since liberal reform had its ascendancy in the 1960s and the conservative backlash has been very intense in the past decade, what is remarkable is the robust stability of public views toward abortion over the past 15 years. The second firm result of the NORC trend data is not the slight overall decline since 1980 but the lack of variation in the ranking of qualified approval of legal abortion as a function of the social and physical circumstances facing the pregnant woman. In our view, for reasons to be explicated below, the an tiabortion movement has succeeded only in imposing a temporary brake on a long-term historical trend toward increased public acceptance of abortion in early pregnancy early pregnancy Obstetrics First trimester of pregnancy as a woman's right and a private matter in which the state should not intervene.
Attitudes vs. Behavior
In 1965, as in 1987, the American public drew sharp distinctions between maternal health, fetal defects and pregnancy as a consequence of rape-circumstances that the majority approved as grounds for abortion-and being poor, not wishing to marry the sex partner and already having the family size desired-circumstances that fewer than half approved as justifying abortion. These results pose two important questions: Why does the public draw so sharp a distinction between the two sets of circumstances, and how do the circumstances cited in the attitude items compare with the real-life circumstances of women who have obtained abortions?
We suggest that the first set of circumstances are viewed by the public as situations over which a woman has little or no control: She was the victim of disease, genes or a rapist. Nor do these three circumstances imply any socially unacceptable sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. initiated by the woman or any irresponsibility on her part, which the public may often impute impute v. 1) to attach to a person responsibility (and therefore financial liability) for acts or injuries to another, because of a particular relationship, such as mother to child, guardian to ward, employer to employee, or business associates. to the second set of circumstances: If a woman is poor or unmarried, she should either avoid sex or use effective contraceptives. In addition, a child born to a poor or unmarried woman is presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. healthy and could be adopted by couples who would provide loving care. The least defensible ground for an abortion, in the public's view, is to prevent the addition of another child to a family that is considered complete. Many American adults may reject the idea of abortion under this circumstance for several reasons: The couple (or woman alone) could exert extra effort to increase their income, could seek help from kin or public welfare, or could undergo a chang e of heart and welcome the birth.
In fact, the historical experience of adults who are middle-aged or elderly in the 1980s may predispose pre·dis·pose
To make susceptible, as to a disease. them to have little sympathy for family-size limitations and unwillingness to marry the sex partner as the grounds for abortion. When they were young, today's older adults were more apt to marry when a premarital pregnancy was diagnosed than younger adults are nowadays. Furthermore, as parents of the baby-boom cohort, Americans in late middle age in the 1980s had had large families themselves, whereas the elderly in the 1980s had had fewer children than they wished because of the economic hardship imposed by the Great Depression. Those who have experienced having fewer children than they wished may be particularly unsympathetic to abortion under any but dire health circumstances.
A long-standing social norm in human history may also be at work in producing the very sharp differences in public approval of abortion associated with the circumstances surrounding a pregnancy. Pronatalist norms, with or without reinforcement by religious values, do not change easily in any human society. For centuries, fertility was highly valued and socially encouraged simply to keep a small edge ahead of mortality in the human population. The transition to a low-fertility profile under the pressures produced by human population growth is an ongoing process, difficult for many people to comprehend. It is, after all, only since 1950 that even social scientists and policymakers have become generally aware of the serious ecological and political consequences that may flow from excessive population growth rates Growth Rates
The compounded annualized rate of growth of a company's revenues, earnings, dividends, or other figures.
Remember, historically high growth rates don't always mean a high rate of growth looking into the future. around the world. When social norms have been deeply ingrained for long stretches of history, normative change comes slowly and deviation from the norm is exempted from negative sanctions only under th e most extreme circumstances. The powerful norm for parents to protect their children from harm is one that is extended by many adults to protection of a potential child in an early pregnancy. The circumstances that justify an exemption from such a powerful norm must themselves be situations with few alternatives. Serious threats to a mother's health, a high probability of producing a defective child, and a pregnancy that re suits from rape or incest are therefore approved as reasons for abortion, while what is viewed as irresponsible sexual behavior, a difficult financial situation or simply a desire to limit family size are not considered reasons strong enough to override the persisting, pronatalist elements of very deeply rooted norms.
The exemption mechanism operates on two levels. The first is a general level of normative endorsement: The NORC questions asked, "Should a woman have access to a legal abortion if... ," followed by each of the six circumstances we have reviewed. The second type of exemption is an individual-level behavioral exemption, when adults are themselves confronted with complex problems on which very difficult decisions must be made. The fit between the generalized exemptions suggested by responses to hypothetical survey questions and the actual behavioral exemptions by individuals faced with complex real-life situations of their own may be inexact in·ex·act
1. Not strictly accurate or precise; not exact: an inexact quotation; an inexact description of what had taken place.
2. . In a survey of women who had abortions in 1987, (6) Aida Torres and Jacqueline Forrest found that very few women reported having had abortions because of a maternal health problem (seven percent) or a possible fetal health problem (13 percent), the circumstances that trigger overwhelming approval for abortions in public attitude surveys. And, fortunately, few women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
Included in the major reasons for actually having an abortion were precisely those circumstances about which the public shows the greatest ambivalence and least consensus: Half of the sample of women who obtained abortions in 1987 had no likely marital partner or were in a problematic relationship, and two-thirds reported that they could not afford to have a child. But by far the largest cluster of reasons for having an abortion concerned conflicting responsibilities between school, work and family, reasons cited by three-quarters of the women who had abortions. We shall return at a later point to a discussion of the significance of this finding.
The results of the survey of women with abortion experience also underline the inadequacy of single-item attitude surveys. Merely seven percent of the women respondents cited only one reason for having an abortion; the average was close to four reasons. This illustrates the complex real-life situations women confront when they have accidental pregnancies, a complexity difficult to capture in survey research on attitudes. The factorial factorial
For any whole number, the product of all the counting numbers up to and including itself. It is indicated with an exclamation point: 4! (read “four factorial”) is 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 = 24. survey method attempts to handle such complexities by grouping dimensions relevant to an issue in computer-generated random combinations. Each dimension is independent of every other that enters a vignette describing a life situation that calls for a judgment or decision of some kind. (7) The junior author of this article has designed a study of abortion attitudes using this technique. The study includes nine dimensions considered relevant to the abortion decision: a woman's age, marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. , health status, number of children, weekly household income, quality of the couple's relationship, number of months pregnant, spousal or parental attitude toward an abortion and circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. Respondents read randomly assigned vignettes describing women with various characteristics and rated the extent of their approval of the abortion decision.
Preliminary results of this study (based on a sample of adults in a middle-sized city in western Massachusetts) confirm and extend the findings of the NORC-type attitude surveys: The dimensions with the most significant impact on approval of the abortion decision, exclusive of all other dimensions Other Dimensions is a collection of stories by author Clark Ashton Smith. It was released in 1970 and was the author's sixth collection of stories published by Arkham House. It was released in an edition of 3,144 copies. , were the health of the woman, gestational phase of the pregnancy, and circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. Approval ratings were highest when the woman in the vignette was in very poor health, was in the first trimester Noun 1. first trimester - time period extending from the first day of the last menstrual period through 12 weeks of gestation
trimester - a period of three months; especially one of the three three-month periods into which human pregnancy is divided of pregnancy, and had been raped by a brother (6.9 on a 9.0-point scale). A woman who simply wanted to remain childless evoked the lowest mean approval rating (4.4 on the scale). Intermediate levels of approval were found if the relationship was unhappy or if the income level of the woman was very low. The woman's marital status, spousal or parental approval, age and number of children had no statistically significant effects on approval levels.
The null results on the age dimension masked an interesting interaction between the age of the respondent and the age of the woman in the vignette. Respondents older than 60 showed the lowest level of approval of an abortion decision when the pregnant woman was an adolescent and the highest approval when she was in her 40s; the youngest respondents, in their 20s, showed the reverse profile-the most approval for the adolescent and the least approval for the older woman. These results are in accord with the probable historical cohort and personal life experiences of the respondents: When women now older than 60 were in their childbearing years, the most prevalent cases of abortion involved older married women, while women now in their 20s know that recent abortions involve more young unmarried women than older married women.
While results from such analyses add to our understanding of the structure of public attitudes toward abortion, they do not yet approximate the complexity of the real situations of women who obtain abortions. Until more research is conducted that deals with the interactive effects of various situations and the characteristics of the woman, it will continue to be difficult to distinguish between methodological and substantive factors in explaining the lack of fit between the circumstances that lead to actual abortions and the circumstances under which the public says it approves or disapproves of an abortion.
Determinants of Attitudes
A considerable amount of research in the past decade has tried to interpret the abortion attitude trend data, either by searching for their demographic correlates in sex, age, education, religion and race (8) or by exploring how abortion attitudes relate to attitudes in other domains. (9) Protestant Catholic differences are found to be minimal, once a measure of religiosity re·li·gi·os·i·ty
1. The quality of being religious.
2. Excessive or affected piety.
Noun 1. religiosity - exaggerated or affected piety and religious zeal
religiousism, pietism, religionism is introduced: Regular church attendance is more significantly related to abortion attitudes than religious affiliation per se. Blacks are more likely than whites to approve of abortion on grounds of poverty, and whites are more likely than blacks to approve on grounds of being unmarried; the addition of measures for attitude toward gender roles, premarital sex, and support for the Equal Rights Amendment increases the amount of explained variance Explained variance is part of the variance of any residual that can be attributed to a specific condition (cause). The other part of variance is unexplained variance. The higher the explained variance relative to the total variance, the stronger the statistical measure used. in racial attitudes beyond that explained by demographic variables alone. The majority of the public does not hold strong views about abortion, however; most are fence sitters who feel considerabl e ambivalence toward legal abortion. If anything, the fence sitters would tip more to the antiabortion than the prochoice pole of opinion, because their views on other issues, such as euthanasia, suicide, and politics, are more conservative than liberal. (10)
Two Louis Harris Louis Harris (born 6 January 1921) is an American opinion-polling entrepreneur, journalist, and author. He ran one of the best-known polling organizations of his time, Louis Harris and Associates (LHA) which conducted so-called Harris polls. polls in 1985 pinpoint some moderate degree of change away from liberal positions in several subgroups of the population: adults younger than 30 and older than 65, those with less than a high school education, blacks, southerners and white born-again Christians. (11) Table 1 shows the level of support given to the Supreme Court's abortion decision by respondents in the September 1985 survey and the percentage decline in support for legalized abortion from the level of January, nine months before. The decline in support among the youngest and oldest respondents is consistent with the longer time trend analyzed by Helen R. Ebaugh and C. Allen Haney, who show that both the youngest and the oldest age-groups became more conservative in the early-to mid-1970s, before all age-groups shifted slightly in the conservative direction. (12) Research results on age of respondent and abortion attitudes are very much in need of cohort analysis to disentangle the ambiguities implicit in Adj. 1. implicit in - in the nature of something though not readily apparent; "shortcomings inherent in our approach"; "an underlying meaning"
underlying, inherent cross-sectional anal ysis of age-attitude trend data.
Politics and Abortion
Social scientists do not have an outstanding record where the ability to predict the emergence of social movements is concerned, but they are quick to chart their development and impact once they are highly visible on the political stage and receive extensive media coverage. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in 1973, right-to-life organizations and the Moral Majority became extremely active and highly visible in American politics. As the abortion controversy became increasingly polarized, social scientists began to report on the new politics of abortion, (13) including the effect of abortion views upon voting behavior, (14) the political actions of antiabortion advocates against abortion Facilities (15) and more detailed ethnographic portraits of the leaders on both sides of the issue. (16)
Two major findings stand out in the research on abortion attitudes and voting behavior. The first is that abortion as an issue is not considered a top priority by voters. When asked in a 1987 poll conducted for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL NARAL National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League ) by a bipartisan pair of polling organizations which of four issues "concerned them personally the most," respondents cited abortion least frequently (eight percent); it was exceeded by AIDS, education, and the federal budget deficit (15 percent, 27 percent and 47 percent, respectively). (17) The second major finding is that abortion is not a partisan issue. In 1984, the survey conducted by the Center for Political Studies of the University of Michigan (body, education) University of Michigan - A large cosmopolitan university in the Midwest USA. Over 50000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan's three campuses. The students come from 50 states and over 100 foreign countries. showed that a majority of voters for both parties took prochoice positions on abortion--61 percent among Mondale-supporters and 54 percent among Reagan-supporters. (18) The NARAL-sponsored poll showed a similar lack of partisanship in public views toward a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion: F ifty-eight percent of Republican voters and 64 percent of Democratic voters opposed the amendment. An even larger proportion agreed that abortion was a private matter in which the government should not interfere: Seventy-three percent of Republican voters and 78 percent of Democratic voters took this position. (19)
One of the important functions served by public opinion polls has been to demonstrate the absence of alignment on abortion by race, religion, gender and political party affiliation and to bring these findings to the attention of political leaders. This is important because politicians are exposed far more to the official views of sharply opposed interest groups and to the equally polarized depictions reported in the media than they are to the general views of their constituents. In the 1960s, when abortion reform was concentrated on state penal code revisions, the results of the 1965 NORC survey (showing minimal differences between Catholics and Protestants in views on abortion) were of critical importance in convincing members of the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of State legislature A state legislature may refer to a legislative branch or body of a political subdivision in a federal system.
The following legislatures exist in the following political subdivisions:
Even now, many members of the U.S. Congress persist in Verb 1. persist in - do something repeatedly and showing no intention to stop; "We continued our research into the cause of the illness"; "The landlord persists in asking us to move"
continue believing that a strong prochoice position on abortion carries heavy penalties in efforts to win reelection. A detailed review of the evidence from federal elections between 1974 and 1986 shows that this is not the case: In general, antiabortion efforts to defeat prochoice incumbents have not succeeded. (20) Following the 1986 congressional elections, for example, the antiabortion movement found itself on the defensive: With three Senate seats won by prochoice advocates and the Senate again under the control of the Democrats, the president of the National Right to Life Committee suggested that its members rethink any plans to seek state referenda, because "a referendum on our issue is very difficult to win." (21) However, in the November 1988 elections, three states passed referenda approving restrictions on state funds for abortion services to poor women--two of them (Colorado and Michigan) by wide margins. By contrast, no prochoice incumbent in the U.S . Senate lost to an antichoice challenger in the 1988 elections, and three new prochoice senators replaced antiabortion senators.
From evidence such as this, it appears the crest of the conservative backlash against the Supreme Court decision on abortion has passed. There is also evidence of fragmentation within the ranks of the evangelical movement, which contributed many of the most vocal antiabortion advocates. After a decade in which we saw a spectacular rise among TV evangelists, we have witnessed the fall from grace of Jimmy Swaggart Jimmy Lee Swaggart (born March 15, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana) is a Pentecostal preacher and pioneer of televangelism who reached the height of his popularity in the 1980s. Swaggart is first cousin to recording artists Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley. and Jim and Tammy Bakker and a distancing from them by others in the evangelical movement.
With the benefit of hindsight, one might well wonder whether the political controversy of the past 15 years over abortion was a predictable phenomenon and whether there may be yet another resurgence of conservative pressure to prohibit abortions in the future. In the heat of a political controversy, a detached and distanced perspective on long-term historical trends may get lost. Nonetheless, we suggest that it is important and useful to attempt precisely such a long-term view. Significant political, social and normative change is rarely a smooth linear progression; it proceeds by fits and starts in a dialectic process necessarily subject to deflections and vacillations. We have seen this in recent decades in fertility trends in the Western industrial nations: The post-World War II years, marked by a rise in religious participation and a renewed trust in basic institutions after the shattering experience of two world wars and the Great Depression, (22) produced a baby boom that challenged the demographic pred ictions of a long-term trend to low-fertility rates. Fifteen years later, the low-fertility direction reasserted itself.
We are convinced of the utility of placing the abortion controversy in a much larger context, a time frame that deals not with years but decades and a framework of ideas in which abortion is one among many beliefs and social values. The framework we propose draws upon a recent brilliant paper by Ron Lesthaeghe and Jon Surkyn, which explicates a process for measuring the secularization of society and tests it against data from the European Values Studies (EVS EVS European Voluntary Service
EVS Environmental Science
EVS Electric Vehicle Symposium
EVS Enhanced Vision System
EVS environmental studies
EVS European Values Study
EVS Electronic Verification System
EVS Extreme Voltage Shutdown ), periodic surveys in a dozen countries in the European Economic Community. (23) An extension of earlier work by Lesthaeghe and Ronald Inglehart Ronald F. Inglehart (born September 5, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is a political scientist at the University of Michigan. He is director of the World Values Survey, a global network of social scientists who have carried out representative national surveys of the publics of over , (24) their endeavor attempts to synthesize theories from economics and sociology, by treating values, tastes and life goals as independent and interactive variables on a par with more standard economic measures.
By secularization, the authors mean a declining adherence to organized or institutionalized religion, such that Western religious institutions have undergone a change from an overarching system that sought to control all aspects of life to a subsystem alongside other subsystems. A good example is the process of secularization among American Catholics, who have gradually rejected church control over many private aspects of life (e.g., premarital sex and divorce, use of contraceptives and family size) while retaining core religious beliefs (in salvation and, damnation, God, the soul and life after death) and respect for their ethnic and local community and traditions. (25)
The loosening of religious institutional controls translates into more latitude in individual morality and the diversified moral code of a pluralist society. Lesthaeghe and Surkyn posit a continuum from acceptance of institutional regulation at one end to accentuation of individual discretion at the other, and they apply this construct to a variety of domains of social life. Table 2 (page 278) summarizes these domains and indicates the values that they believe would be attached to them at the two poles of the continuum.
Using the same domains of social life and a more specific set of indicators from the 1981 EVS, Lesthaeghe and Surkyn show that such factors as a strong public morality Public morality refers to moral and ethical standards enforced in a society, by law or police work or social pressure, and applied to public life, to the content of the media, and to conduct in public places. and greater religiosity are indeed negatively correlated with the emphasis EVS respondents place on individual discretion (Table 3). Positive correlates are the educational qualities of imagination and independence, approval of greater employee control over the means of production Means Of Production is a compilation of Aim's early 12" and EP releases, recorded between 1995 and 1998. Track listing
A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project. that embraces a wide array of other values as well.
The Lesthaeghe-Surkyn work goes on to suggest a long-term historical change in the highly developed Western democracies toward secularization and individual discretion. The theory and data used to test it are European in origin, but we submit that they are applicable to the United States as well. Demographers have long observed that trends in Europe-particularly in the Scandinavian countries and particularly in domains such as marriage and fertility rates, cohabitation A living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage.
Couples cohabit, rather than marry, for a variety of reasons. They may want to test their compatibility before they commit to a legal union. patterns and religious participation-are harbingers of things to come in the United States. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , we often lag behind Europe on such matters. Unfortunately, American social scientists often lag behind their European counterparts in theoretical developments as well: There have been no studies in American social science that have had so ambitious a goal as to measure and trace change over time in fundamental social, political and religious beliefs as the EVS has done collaboratively in a dozen countries over a 16-year period.
Not all countries are at the same stage of change in all the belief domains covered by the EVS. We suspect that secularization has advanced further in the Scandinavian countries than in the United States, and individualism may be more marked in urban centers in Denmark than in England. Nonetheless, in an interdependent global community, international influences between Western democratic nations can now occur more quickly and more intensively across the Atlantic than interregional in·ter·re·gion·al
Of, involving, or connecting two or more regions: interregional migration; interregional banking. influences across the American continent did in the past. In addition, quite apart from international influences, some of the same processes of social change occur independently in countries sharing a common heritage and a common profile of economic development. Student protests in the mid-1960s, peace movements in the 1970s, and environmental concerns in the 1980s are all examples of responses that occurred in both America and Europe to similar circumstances. Our suggestion that the European trends apply as well to the United States must remain largely a tacit assumption Tacit assumptions include the underlying agreements or statements made in the development of a logical argument, course of action, decision, or judgment that are not explicitly voiced nor necessarily understood by the decision maker or judge. , however, until some comparable studies are conducted in the United States.
The utility of this larger conceptual framework is as an aid in maintaining a more detached perspective while living through the ebb and flow the alternate ebb and flood of the tide; often used figuratively.
See also: Ebb of social change. Such change is not a simple linear process. Lesthaeghe and Surkyn note a short-term move back toward traditional values Traditional values refer to those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community. Since the late 1970s in the U.S. in times of rising prices in Western European countries, a period effect that all birth cohorts responded to. (*) It may be that there was a significant link in the United States between rising prices in the inflationary period of the late 1970s and early 1980s and conservative attempts to reverse the trend toward liberalized access to abortion. On an individual level, an analogous reaction can be seen following personal setbacks in life, as in the religious conversions reported by some of the prominent political figures who had been involved in the Watergate scandal Watergate scandal
(1972–74) Political scandal involving illegal activities by Pres. Richard Nixon's administration. In June 1972 five burglars were arrested after breaking into the Democratic Party's national headquarters at the Watergate Hotel complex in Washington, .
Some suggestions that this larger theoretical and political framework contributes to an understanding of the abortion controversy in the United States can be seen in a few studies of abortion activists. Stephen Markson traced the polarization between prochoice and right-to-life advocates to cultural conflicts in the 1960s over lifestyles, authority, and demands for equal rights. (26) Kristin Luker's study of antiabortion activists in California also used a larger interpretive framework by depicting their world views as rooted in traditional family values family values
The moral and social values traditionally maintained and affirmed within a family. and fundamentalist or traditional religious beliefs associated with rural and small-town America. (27)
Based partially on his study of antiabortion activists in Missouri, Donald Granberg also linked abortion attitudes to a wider range of beliefs. (28) He reported that prochoice activists hold to a consistent set of civil libertarian civil libertarian
One who is actively concerned with the protection of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the individual by law: "Civil libertarians tend to assume such tests must be an illegal invasion of privacy" views across a wide array of issues but antiabortion activists subscribe to Verb 1. subscribe to - receive or obtain regularly; "We take the Times every day"
buy, purchase - obtain by purchase; acquire by means of a financial transaction; "The family purchased a new car"; "The conglomerate acquired a new company"; a much less consistent array of beliefs. Granberg assumed that a consistent commitment to the preservation and protection of human life would require opposition to military expansion, increased resources devoted to health and child care, strict gun control and traditional family values. But while antiabortion activists favor large families and disapprove of suicide and euthanasia, they oppose gun control and favor capital punishment capital punishment, imposition of a penalty of death by the state. History
Capital punishment was widely applied in ancient times; it can be found (c.1750 B.C.) in the Code of Hammurabi. and a large military budget. Granberg's findings fit the profile of orientation toward institutional regulation much better than they do his own preservation-of-life theme.
One other piece of research by Granberg provides a more direct link to the Lesthaeghe-Surkyn theoretical framework, (29) because he used the same measure adopted in the EVS--the Rokeach terminal values measure. (30) This method involves asking respondents to rank 18 values on a scale from one (most important) to 18 (least important). The greatest rank-order difference Granberg found was on salvation, ranked 3.2 by right-to-life advocates and 15.2 by prochoice advocates. Other values antiabortion advocates ranked high were family security, national security, and inner harmony. Values the prochoice advocates ranked high were equality, accomplishment, pleasure, freedom, an exciting life, and a comfortable life. Across the two profiles, one can sense the predominance among the prochoice activists of a secular, highly individualized orientation and among the right-to-life advocates, the predominance of the traditional orientation that gives primacy to family rights and communal obligations over individual rights.
To see linkages of this sort between American research on abortion activists and the European-derived theoretical framework of long-term historical change lends support to our reliance on that research for interpreting and predicting the future course of events and direction of normative change in American society. Research that focuses on short-term, recent and very narrowly defined topics can too readily lead to predictions of abrupt, significant and long-lasting reversals of the direction of social change. There may well be another resurgence of traditional, conservative claims in opposition to abortion or to women's rights The effort to secure equal rights for women and to remove gender discrimination from laws, institutions, and behavioral patterns.
The women's rights movement began in the nineteenth century with the demand by some women reformers for the right to vote, known as suffrage, and or to environmental protection in the years ahead, but there is some comfort in a theory that predicts an ongoing development in Western societies toward a humane, pluralist and tolerant system of beliefs predicated on the ability of individuals to make mature and responsible decisions in the absence of coercive social control.
Abortion in the Future
At the peak of a highly polarized political debate, both sides in the controversy tend to exaggerate the differences between themselves and to claim that their opponents hold far more extreme views than they do. A few prochoice advocates do in fact consider a month-old fetus to be simply protoplasm protoplasm, term once used for the fundamental material of which all living things were thought to be composed. It was studied by a number of early scientists, especially by Félix Dujardin, J. E. Purkinje, M. J. S. or body tissue, but most advocates for abortion law Abortion law is legislation which pertains to the provision of abortion. Abortion has at times emerged as a controversial subject in various societies because of the moral and ethical issues that surround it, though other considerations, such as a state's pro- or antinatalist reform assume an abortion is an unhappy and stressful solution to a complex problem, not something done with a light heart and no regrets. Even born-again Christians and deeply religious Catholics have had abortions, (31) and one assumes they do not view themselves as irresponsible or murderous adults.
Here, too, research results can contribute to modifying extreme positions by providing the public and policymakers with factual information relevant to the issues involved in a controversy. Positions taken by antiabortion advocates may soften as it becomes more widely known that many born-again Christians and practicing Catholics have had abortions, that the public assumes abortion will continue to be legal (74 percent), that few believe it will be outlawed (seven percent), and that almost as many people who call themselves conservatives as those who identify themselves as liberals hold the view that legal abortion is here to stay (72 percent compared with 75 percent). (32) The recent failure of the antiabortion movement to defeat prochoice candidates in elections may also have the effect of encouraging some broadening from the extremely narrow circumstances that antiabortion advocates concede as justification for a legal abortion.
A comparable softening of views may also take place among prochoice advocates, as the internal feminist debate on the issue of abortion continues and as results of research on women who have actually had abortions become more widely known. The most extreme prochoice position has been that a woman has a right to an abortion for any reason important to her, without regard to the views of others such as parents or a spouse. Some feminists have begun to argue that an abortion is not the exclusive concern of an individual woman but of the man and the families of both partners as well. Theodora Ooms and Jean Elshstain have pointed out the inconsistency of feminist demands when they push hard to have men included in the birth process and in child care while denying men the right to be involved in the abortion decision. (33) Ooms claims, furthermore, that to press for women's autonomy over the abortion decision encourages the very male disengagement disengagement /dis·en·gage·ment/ (dis?en-gaj´ment) emergence of the fetus from the vaginal canal.
n. and irresponsibility that women have deplored.
There is also a considerable mismatch between the language of rights espoused by feminist advocates of the prochoice position and the language used by women who have personally confronted the abortion decision. In Carol Gilligan's intensive interviews with women who confronted this decision, there is little evidence of concern for rights, justice or fairness. (34) Their discussions of the circumstances they faced and the painful decisions they made project a very different quality: The women viewed their problem as centered on concern for conflicting responsibilities rather than on competing rights. The finding of Torres and Forrest that the major duster of reasons women gave for having an abortion concerned conflicting responsibilities between family and school or work is particularly persuasive evidence on this point, because their data come not from a small purposive pur·po·sive
1. Having or serving a purpose.
2. Purposeful: purposive behavior.
pur sample, as Gilligan's did, but from a large survey of 1,900 women who had abortions in l987. (35)
This is also a point that takes on new relevance when viewed within the framework of long-term changes in developed societies. Women in Western democracies are fulfilling an increasingly important role as breadwinners in their families. It is almost taken for granted Adj. 1. taken for granted - evident without proof or argument; "an axiomatic truth"; "we hold these truths to be self-evident"
obvious - easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind; "obvious errors" that young adult women, if unmarried, will support themselves, and if married, will remain in the labor force on a steady basis throughout adulthood, with only brief withdrawals surrounding one or two pregnancies. The long-range trends toward older ages at marriage, low fertility, and greatly expanded longevity set the stage for such continuous employment of women.
Contributing to the high level and stability of women's presence in the labor force is increased competition in the international marketplace, which depresses wage levels in the United States and the advanced European economies. Women remain employed for a substantial portion of their reproductive years, not because they are engaged in a selfish pursuit of self-fulfillment, but as a matter of necessity. In the 1980s, it takes two breadwinners in most families to maintain a standard of living equal to what one breadwinner bread·win·ner
One whose earnings are the primary source of support for one's dependents.
bread·winning n. could provide in the 1950s. In just the area of housing, the proportion of a monthly income that goes to mortgage payments has tripled during the last 30 or so years: In the 1950s, a 30-year-old man would have devoted 14 percent of his monthly income to pay for a home; by 1973, it was 21 percent; and in 1984, 44 percent. (36) The only way a family can afford such an outlay is by increasing income through the wife's employment.
These changes mean that a far greater cost is involved for the woman, her family, and her employer if she has an accidental pregnancy. More so than in the past, the decision will be to have an abortion rather than to carry the pregnancy to term. Young women are increasingly aware that to drop out of high school or college threatens their future economic well-being, and older women understand that dropping out of the labor force for a second or third pregnancy may threaten their family's standard of living. Little wonder, then, that Torres and Forrest report that a major specific reason women give for having an abortion, one that is reported by women of all ages, is that they simply cannot afford a child. Although that is clearly a relative assessment based on the standard of living a family wishes to maintain, the ability to provide well for one or two children under the circumstances we have discussed could easily be threatened by a third pregnancy, just as a first pregnancy could threaten a college student 's ability to become economically self-sufficient. That increasing numbers of young women accept such self-sufficiency and anticipate carrying continuous economic responsibility is suggested by the frequency with which young women reported in the Torres-Forrest survey that they were having an abortion because they were not yet ready for the responsibility of rearing a child.
Behavior can pave the way for ideological change, just as ideology can serve as a motivator for changed behavior. To some degree we may be indulging in wishful thinking wishful thinking Psychology Dereitic thought that a thing or event should have a specified outcome , but we think it inevitable that women in the future will be spared the "catch-22' situation so many have experienced in the past--blamed in some sectors of society if they have an abortion and blamed in other sectors if they bear a child they cannot support without public welfare or help from kin. This must surely change as it becomes more widely known and accepted that the majority of women who have abortions do so for mature reasons based on careful self-assessment of their economic ability to support themselves and their children and of their psychological readiness to take on the responsibility of rearing a healthy, cared-for child.
There remains, of course, an ongoing problem where unmarried adolescent women are concerned. Early abortion early abortion Obstetrics An abortion performed before the 12th wk of gestation. See Abortion. reformers had in mind older women already rearing a number of children, women who were neither financially nor emotionally prepared to cope with another pregnancy and birth. Early providers of family planning family planning
Use of measures designed to regulate the number and spacing of children within a family, largely to curb population growth and ensure each family’s access to limited resources. shared the optimistic confidence of the abortion reformers that abortion would serve as a backup in the event of contraceptive failure and would be needed only until sexually active adults made consistent, invariant (programming) invariant - A rule, such as the ordering of an ordered list or heap, that applies throughout the life of a data structure or procedure. Each change to the data structure must maintain the correctness of the invariant. use of effective methods. That optimism dimmed as the annual number of abortions rose steadily between 1973 and 1981, then stabilized at 1.5 million between 1982 and 1985--representing an abortion rate of 28 per 1,000 women aged 15--44. This meant that three percent of women of childbearing age were having abortions annually, and 30 percent of pregnancies not ending in miscarriage or stillbirth were ending in abortion. (37)
Few early abortion reformers had in mind sexually active teenagers, but the drop in the age of sexual initiation and the continuing high proportion of teenagers who do not use a contraceptive or who use one erratically or ineffectively have combined to keep the number and rate of abortions high. Despite greater exposure to sex education, the belief persists among sexually active teenagers that the probabilities simply do not apply to them and that birth control may in fact be harmful. (38) In addition, evidence indicates that parents continue to feel relatively powerless to control adolescent sexual behavior
This trend coincides with a dimming of optimistic expectations for new and improved contraceptives. As recently as 1986, sources in the family planning field described scientific breakthroughs that suggested that better, even radically different, contraceptive methods lay ahead: Implants, pregnancy vaccines, reversible sterilization sterilization
Any surgical procedure intended to end fertility permanently (see contraception). Such operations remove or interrupt the anatomical pathways through which the cells involved in fertilization travel (see reproductive system). methods and male contraceptives were thought to be on the horizon. (40) But just two years later, the outlook is quite different; the drying up of research and development funds, increasing litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. , concerns for product safety, and complex Food and Drug Administration regulations have combined to nip new developments in the bud. (41) Fewer pharmaceutical firms are engaging in any significant scale of research and development; prices are being raised on new contraceptives to provide a fund to cover anticipated product-safety suits; and firms are avoiding research on postovulatory methods out of fear that their other products may be subject to boycott campaigns waged by antiabor tion advocates. In light of these dim prospects for innovative technological advances in the near future, the failure rates associated with currently available contraceptives will perpetuate the need for abortion.
A new set of dilemmas bearing on abortion may also confront an increasing number of adults in the future, as a consequence of advances in medical capabilities. A wide array of techniques are now available for identifying fetal defects in early pregnancy, including amniocentesis amniocentesis (ăm'nēō'sĕntē`sĭs), diagnostic procedure in which a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus is removed from the uterus by means of a fine needle inserted through the abdomen of the pregnant woman (see , fetoscopy fetoscopy
viewing of the fetus in utero by means of the fetoscope.
fetoscopy Obstetrics An imaging technique in which a ultrasound-guided, 3 mm in diameter needle with an endoscope is inserted through the abdominal wall into the uterus to view a and ultrasound. (42) To abort (1) To exit a function or application without saving any data that has been changed.
(2) To stop a transmission.
(programming) abort - To terminate a program or process abnormally and usually suddenly, with or without diagnostic information. a defective fetus and try for a future healthy pregnancy may spare a young couple a lifetime of personal anguish and great financial strain, but it can also trigger highly articulate opposition from antiabortion activists as well as advocates for the handicapped. As the range of genetic defects that can be detected in utero enlarges, more borderline cases will develop in which the choice between carrying the pregnancy to term and having an abortion will be a difficult one for a couple to make. An additional contribution to the number of abortion decisions is the age of the woman: More first births are being postponed until the woman reaches her early- to mid-30s, an age carrying an increased ri sk of a diagnosis of fetal defect.
Developments in a new branch of obstetrics and pediatrics-neonatology-also pose new dilemmas for couples and society. One reads of heroic efforts and a rising success rate in keeping premature babies that weigh 1.0-1.5 pounds at birth alive to the point of hospital discharge. One Australian study reports that 40 percent of such low-birth-weight babies survived to hospital discharge. (43) Even though a British study of 357 babies with very low birth weights found that at follow-up only 27 percent were developmentally normal, 11 percent had physical handicaps and 62 percent had died, (44) the knowledge that younger and younger fetuses can survive outside the mother's body will add to the arguments of those who oppose abortion. Such medical advances may even reduce public acceptance of fetal defect as a circumstance warranting abortion. It is important, therefore, to ensure widespread public knowledge not merely of survival rates of very premature babies but of the high probability of infant death Noun 1. infant death - sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant during sleep
cot death, crib death, SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome , severe handi caps, extraordinary financial strain, high family stress, and divorce. (45)
A totally new set of issues relevant to abortion is posed by the unprecedented situation we may confront as a society in dealing with the AIDS epidemic. Estimates of the number of persons infected with the virus that causes AIDS and of the proportion of virus-infected persons who will develop AIDS have gone up each year since the disease was identified as a distinct clinical syndrome in 1981. By 1987, the Surgeon General The U.S. Surgeon General is charged with the protection and advancement of health in the United States. Since the 1960s the surgeon general has become a highly visible federal public health official, speaking out against known health risks such as tobacco use, and promoting disease estimated that a total of 1.5 million Americans were already infected with the virus. More disturbing yet is the June 1988 prediction by the Centers for Disease Control that 99 percent of infected persons will come down with the disease. (46)
Asymptomatic adults who carry the virus without knowing it not only are at risk of the disease themselves, but put others with whom they have sexual contact at risk as well. High on the list of recommendations from the report by the Watkins Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus human immunodeficiency virus
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
A transmissible retrovirus that causes AIDS in humans. Epidemic is public education about the desirability of prophylactic prophylactic /pro·phy·lac·tic/ (pro?-fi-lak´tik)
1. tending to ward off disease; pertaining to prophylaxis.
2. an agent that tends to ward off disease.
n. protection through the use of condoms. This follows a family planning policy over the past two decades of persuading Americans to change their contraceptive practice from condoms and diaphragms to the more effective steroid pills. Persuading the current generation of sexually active adults to change their contraceptive methods yet again will be no easy task. Nonetheless, one study reports a marked increase in the proportion of young adults who approve of condoms: From a fairly stable approval rate between 1977 and 1984 of about 40 percent, approval of condoms rose to 60 percent by 1987. (47) Actual use of the condom lags considerably behind the a pproval rate, but use has increased, significantly so among unmarried women (from nine percent to 16 percent between 1982 and 1987 among unmarried women, but from 14 percent to just 15 percent among married women).
These data provide an important anchor point Anchor Point may refer to:
In sum, we believe the long-term trend is toward slowly increasing public acceptance of abortion as an unfortunate, but necessary, solution to unplanned pregnancy among women who, with their partners, face an increasingly varied combination of life circumstances.
Alice S. Rossi is Harriet Martineau Harriet Martineau (June 12, 1802 – June 27, 1876) was an English writer and philosopher, renowned in her day as a controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist. Professor of Sociology and Bhavani Sitaraman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology Noun 1. department of sociology - the academic department responsible for teaching and research in sociology
academic department - a division of a school that is responsible for a given subject , University of Massachusetts The system includes UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth (affiliated with Cape Cod Community College), UMass Lowell, and the UMass Medical School. It also has an online school called UMassOnline. , Amherst. The authors gratefully acknowledge partial support of their work by The Rockefeller Foundation during 1987-1988
(*.) This uneasy coalition also provides a paint of historic Contrast to developments in Western Europe, where abortion reform was spearheaded by radical and liberal political parties in collaboration with radical feminists. Hence, concern for the health effects on married women of illegal, unsafe abortions and numerous, closely spaced births--combined with socialist and feminist concern for social class and gender inequities--produced the groundswell ground·swell
1. A sudden gathering of force, as of public opinion: a groundswell of antiwar sentiment.
2. for legal reform of abortion in Western Europe a half-century before the abortion reform movement got under way in the United States. (See: A. Bebel, Woman and Socialism, Socialist Literature Co., New York, 1910.)
(*.) Furthermore, as Judith Blake has pointed out, two years later, in a 1975 Gallup survey, less than half the public even knew about the 1973 Supreme Court decision. She also points out that there was little public support for the Court's 1976 decision affirming a minor's right to obtain an abortion regardless of spousal or parental approval, because just a year before, the 1975 Gallup survey showed only one-third of the respondents approved a woman's right to an abortion if her husband was opposed. Blake concludes from this that the Supreme Court did not have any significant effect on public opinion, though it of course was a significant catalyst for antiabortion activism. (See: reference 4.)
(*.) This judgment is based on correspondence between the senior author of this paper and several New York State legislators to whom copies of the 1965 NORC survey results on abortion attitudes were sent. The legislators acknowledged the importance of the finding of minimal Catholic-non-Catholic attitude differences to their own political efforts to change state laws.
(*.) Among the most interesting findings in the Lesthaeghe and Surkyn analysis of the European data was a very strong cohort effect The term cohort effect is used in social science to describe variations in the characteristics of an area of study (such as the incidence of a characteristic or the age at onset) over time among individuals who are defined by some shared temporal experience or common life in many domains of social life. Over the years of repeat measures between 1970 and 1986, each younger cohort showed a greater tendency to report individualized values and retained their positions relative to other birth cohorts over the 16-year period. The implication is that such values are acquired at quite young ages and remain relatively stable thereafter. Where there were fluctuations, all birth cohorts responded in a similar way to the same stimuli.
(1.) National Committee on Maternal Health, The Abortion Problem, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1944; M. S. Calderone, ed., Abortion in the United States, Hoeber-Harper, New York, 1958; and R. Hall, ed., Abortion in a Changing World, Columbia University Press Columbia University Press is an academic press based in New York City and affiliated with Columbia University. It is currently directed by James D. Jordan (2004-present) and publishes titles in the humanities and sciences, including the fields of literary and cultural studies, , New York, 1970.
(2.) H.P. David, J. Fleischhacker and C. Hohn, "Abortion and Eugenics in Nazi Germany," Population and Development Review, 14:81, 1988; and C. Francome, Abortion Freedom: a Worldwide Movement, Allen Unwin, London, 1984.
(3.) S.L. Markson, "The Roots of Contemporary Anti-Abortion Activism," in P. Sachdev, ed., Perspectives on Abortion, Scarecrow Scarecrow
goes to Wizard of Oz to get brains. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]
See : Ignorance
can’t live up to his name. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Am. Press, Metuchen, N.J., 1985, pp. 33-43.
(4.) J. Blake, "The Supreme Court's Abortion Decisions and Public Opinion in the United States," Population and Development Review, 3:45, 1977.
(5.) General Social Surveys, NORC Cumulative Codebook codebook - data dictionary , National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, 1987.
(6.) A. Torres and J. D. Forrest, "Why Do Women Have Abortions?" Family Planning Perspectives, 20:169, 1988.
(7.) P. H. Rossi and S. L. Nock nock
1. The groove at either end of a bow for holding the bowstring.
2. The notch in the end of an arrow that fits on the bowstring.
tr.v. nocked, nock·ing, nocks
1. , eds., Measuring Social Judgments: The Factorial Survey Approach, Sage Publications This article or section needs sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications. Alone, primary sources and sources affiliated with the subject of this article are not sufficient for an accurate encyclopedia article. , Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, city (1990 pop. 31,971), Los Angeles co., S Calif., completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles; inc. 1914. The largely residential city is home to many motion-picture and television personalities. , 1982.
(8.) H. R. F. Ebaugh and C. A. Haney, "Shifts in Abortion Attitudes: 1972-1978," Journal of Marriage and the Family, 42.491, 1980; and E. J. Hall and M. M. Ferree, "Race Differences in Abortion Attitudes," Public Opinion Quarterly, 50:293, 1986.
(9.) J. Blake, "Negativism negativism /neg·a·tiv·ism/ (neg´ah-ti-vizm?) opposition to suggestion or advice; behavior opposite to that appropriate to a specific situation or against the wishes of others, including direct resistance to efforts to be moved. , Equivocation and Wobbly Assent: Public 'Support' for the Prochoice Platform on Abortion," Demography, 18:309,1981; and C. H. Deitch, "Ideology and Opposition to Abortion: Trends in Public Opinion, 1972-1980," Alternative Lifestyles, 6:6,1983.
(10.) J. Blake, 1981, op. cit. (see reference 9).
(11.) Louis Harris Associates, Public Attitudes About Sex Education, Family Planning and Abortion in the United States, New York, 1985.
(12.) H. R. F. Ebaugh and C. A. Haney, 1980, op. cit. (see reference 8).
(13.) E. R. Rubin, Abortion, Politics and the Courts: Roe v. Wade and its Aftermath, Greenwood Press, New York, 1987; and F. S. Jaffe, B. L. Lindhelm and P. R. Lee, Abortion Politics: Private Morality and Public Policy, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1981.
(14.) M. A. Vinovskis, "Abortion and the Presidential Election of 1976: A Multivariate Analysis of Voting Behavior," in C. E. Schneider and M. A. Vinovskis, eds., The Law and Politics of Abortion, Lexington Books, Boston, 1980, pp. 184-205; M. W. Traugott and M. A. Vinovskis, "Abortion and the 1978 Congressional Elections," Family Planning Perspectives, 12:238 1980; and D. Granberg, "The Abortion Issue in the 1984 Elections," Family Planning Perspectives, 19:59, 1987.
(15.) F. S. Jaffe, B. L Lindhelm and P. R. Lee, 1981, op. cit. (see reference 13); and J. D. Forrest and S. K. Henshaw, "The Harassment of U.S. Abortion Providers," Family Planning Perspectives, 19:9, 1987.
(16.) D. Granberg and B. W. Granberg, "Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice: Another Look at the Abortion Controversy in the U.S.," Sociology and Social Research, 65:424, 1981; D. Granberg, "Comparison of Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Activists: Their values, Attitudes and Beliefs," Population and Environment, 5:75,1982; D. Granberg and B. W. Granberg, "Social Bases of Support and Opposition to Legalized Abortion," in P. Sachdev, 1985, op. cit. (see reference 3), pp. 191-204; and K. Luker, Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood, University of California Press "UC Press" redirects here, but this is also an abbreviation for University of Chicago Press
University of California Press, also known as UC Press, is a publishing house associated with the University of California that engages in academic publishing. , Berkeley, 1984.
(17.) P. Donovan, When the Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong: A Reexamination re·ex·am·ine also re-ex·am·ine
tr.v. re·ex·am·ined, re·ex·am·in·ing, re·ex·am·ines
1. To examine again or anew; review.
2. Law To question (a witness) again after cross-examination. of the Role of Abortion as an Issue in Federal Elections, 1974-1986, The Alan Guttmacher Alan Frank Guttmacher (1898-1974) was an American physician.
He served as president of Planned Parenthood and vice-president of the American Eugenics Society, founded the Association for the Study of Abortion in 1964, was a member of the Association for Voluntary Institute, New York, 1988, p. 16.
(18.) D. Granberg, 1987, op. cit. (see ref. 14), Table 1.
(19.) P. Donovan, 1988, op. cit. (see reference 17).
(21.) Ibid., p. 12.
(22.) J. Simons, "Reproductive Behavior Reproductive behavior
Behavior related to the production of offspring; it includes such patterns as the establishment of mating systems, courtship, sexual behavior, parturition, and the care of young. as Religious Practice," in C. Hohn and R. Mackensen, eds., Determinants of Fertility Trends: Theories Re-examined, Ordina Editions, Liege liege
In European feudal society, an unconditional bond between a man and his overlord. Thus, if a tenant held estates from various overlords, his obligations to his liege lord, to whom he had paid “liege homage,” were greater than his obligations to the other , 1980, pp. 133-145.
(23.) R. Lesthaeghe and J. Surkyn, "Cultural Dynamics and Economic Theories of Fertility Change," Population and Development Review, 14:1, 1988.
(24.) R. Lesthaeghe, "On the Social Control of Human Reproduction," Population and Development Review, 4:627, 1980; R. Lesthaeghe, "A Century of Demographic and Cultural Change in Western Europe: An Exploration of Underlying Dimensions," Population and Development Review, 9:411, 1983; R. Inglehart, The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles Among Western Publics, Princeton University Princeton University, at Princeton, N.J.; coeducational; chartered 1746, opened 1747, rechartered 1748, called the College of New Jersey until 1896. Schools and Research Facilities
Press, Princeton, N.J., 1977; R. Inglehart, "Post-Materialism in an Environment of Insecurity," American Political Science Review, 73:880, 1981.
(25.) W. V. D'Antonio, "The American Catholic Family: Signs of Cohesion and Polarization," Journal of Marriage and the Family, 47-395, 1985.
(26.) S. L. Markson, 1985, op. cit. (see reference 3).
(27.) K. Luker, 1984, op. cit. (see reference 16).
(28.) D. Granberg and B. W. Granberg, 1981, op. cit. (see reference 16); D. Granberg and B. W. Granberg, 1985, op. cit. (see reference 16); and D. Granberg, 1982, op. cit. (see reference 16).
(29.) D. Granberg, 1982, op. cit. (see reference 16).
(30.) M. Rokeach, The Nature of Human Values Human Values is the universal concept that preserves and enhances Homo Sapiens as a species, this applies to every human being on the present universe, anything against this values brings the consequence of a Self Species Extermination Event (SSEE) like hate, racism or war. , Free Press, New York, 1973.
(31.) S. K. Henshaw and J. Silverman, "The Characteristics and Prior Contraceptive Use of U.S. Abortion Patients," Family Planning Perspectives, 20:158, 1988.
(32.) Louis Harris Associates, 1985, op. cit. (see ref. 11).
(33.) T. Ooms, "A Family Perspective on Abortion," and J. B. Elshstain, "Reflections on Abortion, Values and the Family," in S. Callahan and D. Callahan, eds., Abortion: Understanding Differences, Plenum Press, New York, 1984.
(34.) C. Gilligan, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development, Harvard University Press The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. It was established on January 13, 1913. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. , Cambridge, 1982.
(35.) A. Torres and J. D. Forrest, 1988, op. cit. (see ref. 6).
(36.) F. Levy, Dollars and Dreams: The Changing American Income Distribution, Russell Sage Russell Sage (4 August 1816 - 22 July 1906) was a financier and politician from New York.
Sage was born at Verona in Oneida County, New York. He received a public school education and worked as a farm hand until he was 15, when he became an errand boy in a grocery conducted Foundation, New York, 1987.
(37.) S. K. Henshaw and K. O'Reilly, "Characteristics of Abortion Patients in the United States, 1979 and 1980," Family Planning Perspectives, 15:5, 1983.
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[Figure 1 omitted]
Table 1 Percentage of public favoring the 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion and the percentage change from nine months earlier, by various characteristics, 1985 Characteristic N % % favoring change Total 1,257 50 -6 Gender Women 651 48 -5 Men 606 51 -8 Age 18-29 355 51 -9 30-49 224 57 -1 50-64 156 43 -3 [greater than or equal 156 41 -13 to] 65 Education < High school 207 32 -13 High school graduate 432 49 -4 Some college 286 62 -1 College graduate 328 67 -4 Race White 1,054 51 -5 Black 115 42 -15 Hispanic 88 47 +5 Religion Protestant 730 49 -5 Catholic 376 47 -6 White born- again Christian 185 31 -8 Politics Conservative 434 42 -9 Middle-of-road 490 55 -2 Liberal 277 56 -6 Region East 312 54 -6 Midwest 311 48 0 South 388 42 -10 West 246 61 -5 Note: The question read, "In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that state laws which made it illegal for a woman to have an abortion up to three months of pregnancy were unconstitutional, and that the decision on whether a woman should have an abortion up to three months of pregnancy should be left to the woman and her doctor to decide. In general, do you favor or oppose this part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision making abortions up to three months of pregnancy legal?" Source: See reference 11, Table 25. Table 2 Value placed on aspects of various domains of social life, by whether a given society emphasizes institutional regulation or individual discretion Domain Institutional Individual regulation discretion Religious and moral values Traditional beliefs. (God, sin, heaven) Strong Weak Institutional religion (attendance, church's Frequent, Absent, teaching) accepted rejected Ten Commandments Most Basic ones morality accepted accepted Permissiveness (homo- sexuality, tax evasion) Rejected Inclined to Educational qualities Conformism (obedience, Not neatness) Stressed stressed Pluralism (tolerance) Not stressed Stressed Imagination, leadership Not stressed Stressed Political values Leftism (control Owner- More worker means of production) controlled control Confidence in institutions High Low Protest proneness (petition, strike) Low High National pride High Low Supranationalism (world view) Low High Work values Personal satisfaction/ self-fulfillment Not stressed Stressed Less Material condition Important important Marital and family values Traditionalism (marriage as institution, social Not endogamy) Stressed stressed Sexual freedom Rejected Tolerated Parenthood (children necessary, respect for parents) Stressed Relaxed Source: Adapted from R. Lesthaeghe and J. Surkyn, 1988, op. cit. (see reference 23), p. 14. Table 3 Coefficients of correlation between selected items typifying domains of social life and a single factor measuring the degree of emphasis on individual discretion, European Values Study, 1981 Domain Coefficient Religious and moral values Belief in God -0.45 Belief in heaven -0.49 No. of 10 Commandments accepted -0.58 Church attendance at least once a week -0.42 Never justified: Tax evasion -0.21 Divorce -0.32 Abortion -0.38 Euthanasia -0.36 Suicide -0.32 Educational qualities Good manners -0.29 Obedience -0.37 Religious faith -0.33 Leadership +0.26 Imagination +0.39 Responsibility +0.29 Independence +0.51 Political values Respect for authority -0.40 Would never participate in wildcat strike -0.34 Very proud of own nationality -0.41 Confidence in: Police -0.41 Armed forces -0.44 Civil service -0.22 Major companies -0.22 Leftist self rating +0.39 Identify with Europe/world +0.19 Advocate no exclusive control of means of production +0.29 Marital and family values Faithfulness important -0.34 Parents should sacrifice for their children -0.28 Family size preference for [greater than or equal to]3 children -0.24 Marriage outdated institution +0.32 Enjoy complete sexual freedom +0.36 Approval of unmarried mothers +0.40 End of love as grounds for divorce +0.21 Source: Adapted from R. Lesthaeghe and J. Surkyn, 1988, op. cit. (see reference 23), Table 5.