Dataset Information


The Change in Attitudes Towards Abortion in Former West and East Germany After Reunification: A Latent Class Analysis and Implications for Abortion Access.

ABSTRACT: Introduction The legal status of abortion has changed in the regions of former East Germany after reunification due to the adoption of restrictive West German abortion policies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on attitudes towards abortion and the associated health care implications in Western and Eastern Germany. Materials and Methods Nationally representative data on public support for legally restricting abortion access were taken from the German General Social Survey and included the surveys 1992, 1996, 2000, 2006 and 2012 (N?=?14?459). Two indicators of barriers to access to abortion care were calculated for each federal state, based on the number of abortion facilities and the proportion of women seeking abortion outside their state of residency. Data were analysed using latent class analysis. Results Results suggested that abortion attitudes could be classified into three distinct subgroups: 1) support for abortion access independent of women's reason; 2) support on the basis of maternal or foetal health reasons but not for socio-economic reasons (e.g. financial restrictions); and 3) no support. The size of subgroups in favour of partial or complete restriction on abortion access increased in both regions over the study period and this trend could not be explained by changes in socio-demographic characteristics. Respondents living in a federal state with more barriers to access to abortion care were more likely to hold restrictive abortion attitudes. Conclusion Negative attitudes towards abortion have increased in Western and Eastern Germany during the two decades following reunification and may harm women by limiting acceptability and accessibility of abortion care. Abortion policies, public discourse and provision of abortion care should be informed by international guidelines protecting women's health and rights.

SUBMITTER: Hanschmidt F 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6957354 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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