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Title: Abortion and public opinion in Great Britain: a fifty-year retrospective
Authors: Clements, Ben
Field, Clive D.
First Published: 20-Mar-2018
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Journal of Beliefs and Values, 2018
Abstract: Trends in attitudes to abortion in Britain are reviewed from the perspective of opinion polls and sample surveys for the half-century since the passage of the Abortion Act 1967. The public’s approach to abortion is found to have been mostly ‘situationalist’, conditioned by the circumstances in which abortions were to be carried out, rather than absolutist. Abortions for traumatic reasons have typically been approved from the outset but abortions for social reasons divided opinion, although they have become more acceptable over time, and very few people indeed now reject abortions in all circumstances. Results from ‘non-situationalist’ questions, asking about abortion in general, proved harder to interpret and were sometimes apparently contradictory or characterised by a concentration of replies in a middle ground of ambivalence, neutrality, or the avoidance of expressing strong views.
DOI Link: 10.1080/13617672.2018.1441351
ISSN: 1361-7672
eISSN: 1469-9362
Embargo on file until: 20-Sep-2019
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, Taylor & Francis. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Politics and International Relations

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