204554 How has Mexico City public opinion on abortion changed one year since the groundbreaking law passed?: Findings from a public opinion survey

Monday, November 9, 2009

Katherine S. Wilson, MPH , The Population Council Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Sandra Garcia, ScD, ScM , Mexico Office, Population Council, Mexico City, Mexico
Claudia Diaz, PhD , Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Jorge Valencia, MSc , Population Council Mexico Office, Mexico City, Mexico
Patricio Sanhueza Smith, MD , Reproductive Health Coordinator, Ministry of Health, Mexico City Government, Mexico City, Mexico

In April 2008, marking the one year anniversary of the vanguard legalization of abortion in Mexico City, we conducted an abortion public opinion survey among Mexico City residents. Public opinion research is an important tool to strengthen pro-choice advocacy strategies and legislation.


1) Assess change in abortion knowledge and opinion pre-and one-year post-reform in Mexico City Mexico

2) Assess correlates of favorable abortion opinion post-reform


We administered quantitative survey on abortion knowledge and opinion to a household probability sample of Mexico City residents April 2008 (+/- 2.33, 95% confidence). With SPSS 13.0, we conducted bivariate analysis to assess differences with the pre-reform survey (April 2007) and multivariate analysis of 2008 data to identify correlates of favorable abortion opinion.


1,010 Mexico City residents aged 15 and older participated. Knowledge of the new law increased significantly one year post-reform (72% to 84%, p<0.01). Support for legal abortion also increased significantly from 38% to 63% (26% opposed and 11% no opinion; p<0.05). Most (69%) wanted the law extended throughout Mexico. Multivariate analysis showed that higher education, male sex, and less frequent religious services attendance were significantly associated with more favorable opinion about the new abortion law.


Favorable public opinion in Mexico City about abortion and the new law has increased significantly one year post-reform, which is a very positive for ongoing advocacy efforts in Mexico and elsewhere in the region. This dramatic shift in public opinion can be explained in part by the Mexican feminists and pro-choice movements' well-executed information campaigns over the past year.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how abortion knowledge and opinion is assessed in Mexico 2. Describe some key factors of more favorable abortion opinion 3. Explain how public opinion research on abortion can be used for advocacy

Keywords: Abortion, Public Health Legislation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a co-investigator on the study and performed data analysis
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.