Around the world, being close to someone who has had an abortion makes people substantially more likely to support unrestricted abortion.
That's among the findings about abortion in a new BuzzFeed News/Ipsos poll of 23 nations. We looked at the marriage equality results from the survey in a post last week. In at least 10 of these countries, people who are close to someone who has had an abortion were over 50% more likely to support abortion without restriction.
The survey was conducted online over a two-week period ending May 8. We have the clearest picture of attitudes in 16 countries where the internet is widely accessible because it is possible to get an online sample that is representative of the country as a whole. These are concentrated heavily in Europe and North America. There are obviously large parts of the world that aren't represented in this survey, but unfortunately data collected online in these countries simply wouldn't give us an accurate look at the overall feel of a country because so many people lack internet access or local laws make it hard to poll on social issues.
But we included some data from seven additional countries — Mexico, Brazil, China, South Africa, India, Turkey, and Russia — because they appear to reflect broader public opinion based on comparisons with other public opinion surveys. They're marked with an asterisk as a reminder that these figures may not be truly representative.
This is what we found.
1. This is how many people support unrestricted abortion around the world.
2. No country surveyed favored a total ban on abortion.
3. Being close to someone who has had an abortion makes people substantially more likely to support unrestricted abortion.
4. This is how many people say they are close to someone who has had an abortion (or have had one themselves).
5. Women may be more willing to talk about their abortions with people close to them in some countries than others.
6. Women may not necessarily be more willing to talk about having an abortion in countries with the strongest support for abortion rights.
7. Just because a country has liberal abortion laws — and abortions are frequently performed — doesn’t mean the public supports them.
8. There seems to be popular support in Ireland for changing its restrictive abortion law.
9. Attitudes toward abortion and marriage equality don’t always go hand in hand.
J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
Contact J. Lester Feder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeremy Singer-Vine is the data editor for the BuzzFeed News investigative unit and is based in Washington, D.C. His secure PGP fingerprint is E2B0 63DB 0601 D634 1E9E F9AE 9F24 768F 9B4A EFB0
Contact Jeremy Singer-Vine at email@example.com.
Jina Moore is the global women's rights correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Berlin.
Contact Jina Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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