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Religion and the "Right to Life": Correlates of Opposition to Abortion
Larry R. Petersen and Armand L. Mauss
Vol. 37, No. 3 (Autumn, 1976), pp. 243-254
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3710566
Page Count: 12
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The small amount of literature on the relationship between religion and attitudes on abortion does not give us a clear indication of the importance of religion in determining attitudes on abortion. But literature on political attitudes indicates that opposition to "easy" abortion is associated with political conservatism. There is another body of literature indicating that religious and political conservatism/liberalism are highly correlated. The hypothesis inferred from this is that the membership of the more conservative Protestant churches (and probably the Catholic Church) would tend to oppose "easy" abortion, while the membership of the more liberal churches would favor "easy" abortion. An aspect of Rosenberg and Abelson's Affective-Cognitive Consistency Theory provides theoretical backing for this hypothesis. Using a nationwide sample of National Opinion Research Center data, we found that religious conservatism was indeed positively related to opposition to abortion. Education, church attendance, and religious liberalism/conservatism were found to be the most important predictors of abortion attitudes.
Sociological Analysis © 1976 Association for the Sociology of Religion, Inc.