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Changes in Attitudes Toward Abortion in a Large Population of Canadian University Students Between 1968 and 1978

F. MICHAEL BARRETT
Canadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Santé Publique
Vol. 71, No. 3 (MAY/JUNE 1980), pp. 195-200
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41987825
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Changes in Attitudes Toward Abortion in a Large Population of Canadian University Students Between 1968 and 1978
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Abstract

A survey questionnaire mailed to University of Toronto students has been used to determine changes, between 1968 and 1978, in the percentage approving of legal abortion in Canada under six possible conditions of pregnancy. The percentage approving under all six conditions increased between 1968 (32.6%) and 1971 (49.8%), but declined to 42.6% in 1974 and 36.7% in 1978. All respondents made a distinction between one set of conditions (harm to mother's health, possible child deformity, pregnancy from rape) that received high and unchanging approval, and a second set (out-of-wedlock pregnancy, economic inability to support child, child unwanted) which was given lower and declining approval. Catholic students made this distinction most emphatically, Jewish and Agnostic/Atheist students least and Protestants in between. Differences in opinion were observed between sexes, between religious groups and between coitally-experienced and inexperienced students. The decline in approval under the second set of conditions was most pronounced among coitally-inexperienced students.

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