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In order to assess an individual's support for a woman's right to abortion we asked respondents whether or not they agreed with the practice in any of the following nine circumstances: when the pregnancy is a result of rape; when the woman's life is in danger; when the woman's health is at risk; when the woman lacks economic resources; when the woman is a single mother; when the woman is a minor; when the fetus has congenital, physical, or mental defects; when the woman is developmentally disabled; and whenever the woman decides.
OBJECTIVE: We aim to assess the opinions of Mexicans in the state of Tlaxcala on abortion and other topics concerning women's reproductive health and status in society.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We summarize opinions on abortion and women's roles in society and perform logit regressions to assess characteristics correlated with support for abortion rights.
Previous abortion public opinion studies conducted in the U. and Mexico suggest that beliefs about women's roles and position in society also influence opinion about abortion.
For example, those who possess more socially conservative views about women, such as believing that her primary role should be in the home as wife, mother, and caretaker also are more likely to oppose legal abortion.
On the other hand, those who hold more progressive views about women's status in society, believing that they should have equal opportunity as men to pursue careers and education, are more likely to support legal abortion.
A possible explanation for this could be that people who hold more liberal views about women's roles in society could extend this view to health, specifically, a woman's right to make her own decisions regarding fertility and abortion.
The framing of the abortion debate as either pro-choice or anti-abortion can be misleading because the majority opinion usually lies somewhere in between, with people supporting the right to abortion under specific circumstances. These studies also show that less people than previously thought are at the extreme ends of the scale of abortion opinion.
In Latin America, increased levels of education, increasing socio-economic status, paid employment, and no religious affiliation have been found to be correlated with increased support for a woman's right to abortion.
Five organizations, including Catholics for a Free Choice (CDD); Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work, and Family; the Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE); Ipas; and the Population Council, contributed to the design of the Opinion Survey in Urban Zones in Tlaxcala, 2005, which was carried out by Health and Demographic Investigation (Insad). We used a multi-stage probability sampling methodology, with Geostatistic Areas (AGEBs), which were created during the General Census of Population and Dwellings 2000, as the primary sampling units.
We randomly selected 950 dwellings in the cities of Tlaxcala and Apizaco.