A Literature Review of the Popular Opinion on Abortion

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Literature Review Popular Opinion on Abortion Abortion has long been a source of acrimonious and controversial debate. It touches upon key ethical, moral, philosophical, biological, and legal issues. Opinions about abortion tend to be rooted in fundamental personal values which are unlikely to change. Many people, especially Christians, regard abortion as murder. Such people oppose abortion in varying degrees, calling their position Pro-Life. Others regard abortion as an excruciating yet critical decision that woman should be allowed to make. The debate over abortion has been a persistent source of political and cultural division in this country. Most Americans have an opinion on abortion and believe the issue is important to them. Also, opinions on abortion, in a very general sense, are believed to have stayed relatively stable since the Roe v. Wade decision. Political Party Affiliation Jelen and Wilcox (2003) find that abortion attitudes are increasingly strong predictors of vote choice at a variety of levels of government. (494). Research has been virtually unanimous in tracing this trend to the influence of political elites on mass public opinion. Wilcox and Norrander trace this trend to the Supreme Court's decision in Webster, which granted state governments increased discretion in their ability to regulate the delivery of abortion services (Wilcox and Norrander, 2002, 383). The public became increasingly supportive of legalized abortion with certain
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