Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Jozkowski , Kristen

Reader

Hammig, Bart

Second Reader

Ganio, Matthew

Abstract

In the United States, and in Arkansas specifically, unintended and unplanned pregnancies are a significant public health problem. Induced abortion is a potential outcome of any pregnancy, especially unintended pregnancy. Approximately 43% of unintended pregnancies will be terminated via self-induced abortion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2013). However, abortion remains a salient, but contentious, public health issue in the United States. State and federal governments continue to pass legislation restricting access to safe, legal abortion suggesting that public opinion supports more restrictive policies. Research examining abortion attitudes typically utilize dichotomous, Prochoice versus Prolife, outcomes. Research assessing the extent to which people’s opinions regarding abortion access are more complex, (i.e., people’s opinions deviate from strictly prochoice/prolife stances, with more nuanced attitudes towards access to abortion) is lacking. The current study explored the complexity in people’s opinions regarding access to safe, legal abortion. Specifically, this study aimed to understand if people have specific circumstances in which they think women should/should not have access to safe, legal abortion. These findings suggest that people’s opinions are more complex than simple dichotomous labels allow for.

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