248975 Predictors of political party vote in Mexico in the wake of the April 2007 federal district decriminalization of abortion

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:30 AM

Sarah Jane Holcombe, MPPM, MPH , School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco, CA
Liberalization of abortion law has been linked with greater access to safe abortion and a concomitant reduction in maternal mortality. However, for such liberalization to take place in democratic societies, voter support is a prerequisite and political parties are the primary mechanism by which legal and policy change takes place. This paper uses data from the 2007 Latinobarómetro survey of Mexican public opinion and employs logistic regression models to decompose vote choice nationally and within the Federal District, where in 2007 abortion was decriminalized in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The analyses examine the elements predicting voter support for two of the three main political parties (the Partido de la Revolución Democratica (PRD) on the left and the Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN) on the right) with the most clearly delineated positions on abortion. Results support the hypothesis that opinion on abortion access does predict individuals' support for political parties - but only in the Federal District and only for the center-left PRD. As Mexico's experience with legal and accessible abortion in the Federal District continues, and as the PAN and the PRI carry out abortion-related political strategies in the states, further research with more current opinion data will be critical to revealing whether abortion opinion has a growing influence on party vote choice. More finely tuned understanding of the role that abortion opinion plays on vote choice will aid advocates seeking to expand abortion access and reduce maternal mortality.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
After attending the presentation, attendees will be able to: 1. Differentiate between the key political parties in Mexico with respect to their demographic composition and their views on abortion decriminalization 2. Identify the main predictors of potential voter support for abortion access 3. Describe the possible implications of voter opinion for future political political party strategy and activist strategy.

Keywords: Abortion, Politics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Through prior work as a grantmaker and also as a student, I have studied social movements working to expand women's rights and health access in Mexico and the statistical methodologies necessary to analyze the Latinobarometro survey data.
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.