Published On: 27/10/2014|Categories: 2013–2017, Vol.35 (2014), Vol.35 (3)|


Lay people’s views regarding the acceptability of adolescents’ abortion as a function of religious involvement, as a function of circumstances (e.g., fetus’ age), and as a function of current legislation in the country were examined. We compared data gathered in Portugal at a time when abortion on request was illegal, and data gathered in France where abortion on request has been legal since 30 years. Adult participants were presented with 64 vignettes of a few lines that were composed according to a five withinsubject factors design: the adolescent’s age (15 years vs. 17 ½ years) x the adolescent’s plans regarding schooling (leave school vs. go to college) x the number of months of the fetus (1, 2, 3, or 4 months) x the attitude of the adolescent’s family (agree vs. disagree) x the attitude of her boyfriend, 2 x 2 x 4 x 2 x 2. Through cluster analysis, three contrasting personal positions were found: Never acceptable, depending on circumstances, and always acceptable. The judgment rule of participants adopting the “depending” position was: Acceptability = Fetus’ age + Schooling plans + Partner’s agreement + (Parent’s agreement x Adolescent’s age). The percentages of participants endorsing the always unacceptable position were higher among regular attendees of religious service and among Portuguese participants than among other participants. The ways respect for religious tradition and respect for current laws impact of people’s views regarding adolescent’s abortion were shown to be independent the one from the other.

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