Religion and Attitudes Toward Abortion and Abortion Policy in Brazil

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Abstract:

This study examines the association between religion and attitudes toward the practice of abortion and abortion policy in Brazil. Drawing upon data from the 2002 Brazilian Social Research Survey (BSRS), we test a number of hypotheses with regard to the role of religion on opposition to the practice of abortion and its legalization. Findings indicate that frequently attending Pentecostals demonstrate the strongest opposition to the practice of abortion and both frequently attending Pentecostals and Catholics demonstrate the strongest opposition to its legalization. Additional religious factors, such as a commitment to biblical literalism, were also found to be significantly associated with opposition to both abortion issues. Ultimately, the findings have implications for the future of public policy on abortion and other contentious social issues in Brazil.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2011.01602.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio 2: Department of Demography, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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