The Influence of Public Opinion and Religion on Abortion

Abortion is an extremely argumentative issue in the United States. The issue is controversial, sparking mixed reactions between those who support it and those that go against it. This literature review will focus on eight scholarly sources that would establish public opinions and the effect on religion as regards abortion. This essay aims to examine the potential effects on public opinion, religion, TRAP laws, and their influence on admittance to harmless abortion care.

Public opinion is an important factor when we come to the issue of abortion in the United States. Several factors are believed to shape the conception and understanding of public opinion as regards abortion. Such factors include religious beliefs, age, political beliefs, and an individual’s gender. A study conducted by Adamczyk et al. (2020) established that the issue of abortion is so much complex, and factors such as religion, political thought, regionalism, age, and gender greatly influence abortion. The study incorporated opinion polls, survey data, and interviews, mainly featuring United States women, racial minorities, and young individuals (Adamczyk et al., 2020). The study’s findings indicated that different opinions regarding abortion erupted, and most of the individuals supported women being offered an opportunity to make their own decisions and choices on abortion (Adamczyk et al., 2020). Dissimilarities in opinions were also noted on age, ethnicity, and gender. The Whites were more opposed to abortion than the Latinos and African Americans, who appeared to support it fully.

Another study in the United States revealed that abortion led to negative consequences, particularly for women’s health. Some laws are believed to have resulted in the termination of abortion clinics, implying that abortion is detrimental (Austin & Harper, 2018). According to a study conducted by Austin and Harper, TRAP laws have enabled women to access abortion services; hence their health remains protected. This is because TRAP resulted in the closure of abortion facilities, therefore prohibiting the conduction of abortion. This implies that fewer women will find it possible to access and acquire abortion services. The authors established that TRAP laws have caused delays in accessing abortion and thus increased financial utilization for females seeking abortion care (Austin & Harper 2018). They additionally established that TRAP laws have negatively affected women’s well-being, resulting in reduced admittance to contraception, increased chances of contracting STIs, and increased chances of unplanned pregnancies.

Much debate has erupted on the role of political identity and religion in abortion in the United States. Religious attachments greatly influence a politician’s stance and opinion on abortion. Majorly, politicians who are attached to the Catholic faith strongly oppose abortion. On the other hand, politicians who are non-Christians tend to support abortion strongly. Research by Bhalotra et al. (2021) examined the purpose of religious identity in prompting attitudes concerning abortion. This study discovered that people who classify themselves as religious are likelier to object to abortion than individuals who do not identify as spiritual. The study established that politicians who supported abortion were most likely to receive more votes and support from voters (Bhalotra et al., 2021). This meant that the public views dependent on the politician’s stance on the issue of abortion. The authors concluded that spiritual identity is crucial in determining public opinion on abortion in America.

Research by Cook established that public ideology and politics affect abortion. The study showed that public opinions regarding abortion were dividend as polarization increased in political discourse on the same issue. The study dwelt on dynamic changes in public ideology about abortion and the effects of these changes on the political phenomenon (Cook, 2019). The ideation of abortion in America is complex, and many women are encouraged to carry out abortion or choose for themselves what they deem right and effective for their health (Cook, 2019). It is thus evident that politics and public ideology are free to choose their path as regards abortion. Another study was conducted to determine the looming crisis of access to secure abortion care in America. Strict restrictions have been imposed on securing abortion care in clinics and increased defunding. According to Grossman et al. (2022), fewer women can comfortably access abortion services in clinics. The study included interviews with patients and health providers to determine how to access abortion care (Grossman et al., 2022). The study established that accessing safe abortion in the United States is becoming gradually difficult hence negatively impending women’s health.

Research by Kortsmit et al. (2020) show that abortion rates are gradually decreasing in the United States. The study conducted pregnancies, birth rates, and abortions of different ages females, and it was established that abortions have greatly reduced in the current years. In contrast, the rates of unplanned pregnancies have remained balanced (Kortsmit et al., 2020). This study goes hand in hand with Maddow-Zimet’s study, which establishes that the rates of abortion in the near future will decline. According to this study, since the peak of abortion in the United States in 1980, it is likely that abortion trends and rates will continue to reduce in the upcoming years (Maddow-Zimet, 2022).

Svenaeus (2018) discovered the ethics of abortion and pregnancy in the United States. The study noticed that pregnancy is a multifaceted experience designed by many factors, including some cultural and spiritual beliefs. The author believes that a lot is required regarding ethics regarding abortion (Svenaeus, 2018). Such approaches are believed to bring light to abortion and guarantee that the female’s rights are not taken for granted. Women should be allowed to make their choices as far as their health is concerned. Nobody, even the law, should stand in the way of women’s rights and decisions. Therefore, the study concludes that a strategy on the ethics of abortion is required to ascertain that ladies’ rights are treasured.

Generally, the studies from this literature review exhibit that public ideology on abortion is divided. In the review, the TRAP laws and the politician’s identity impact individual views (Austin & Harper 2018). Moreover, the social media coverage on the issue of abortion is prejudiced, and access to secured abortion is becoming progressively limited in the United States. Also, the trend of unplanned pregnancies has remained secure. Lastly, the ethics regarding abortion are multifaceted and context-reliant, and a person’s pregnancy experience might impact their opinion on the issue (Svenaeus, 2018).

In conclusion, the eight scholarly sources in the literature review establish that spiritual and political beliefs and other factors comprehensively impact public ideology on abortion in America. The literature further reveals that restricting laws and the absence of access to abortion clinics have deleteriously affected females’ well-being and rights. Further research is required to comprehend the consequences of public opinion and policy-related methods of abortion on women in the United States.


Adamczyk, A., Kim, C., & Dillon, L. (2020). Examining public opinion about abortion: a mixed-methods systematic review of research over the last 15 years. Sociological Inquiry, 90(4), 920-954.

Austin, N., & Harper, S. (2018). Assessing the impact of TRAP laws on abortion and women’s health in the USA: a systematic review. BMJ sexual & reproductive health, 44(2), 128- 134.

Bhalotra, S., Clots-Figueras, I., & Iyer, L. (2021). Religion and abortion: The role of politician identity. Journal of Development Economics, 153, 102746.

Cook, E. A. (2019). Between two absolutes: Public opinion and the politics of abortion. Routledge.

Grossman, D., Perritt, J., & Grady, D. (2022). The impending crisis of access to safe abortion care in the US. JAMA Internal Medicine.

Kortsmit, K., Jatlaoui, T. C., Mandel, M. G., Reeves, J. A., Oduyebo, T., Petersen, E., & Whiteman, M. K. (2020). Abortion surveillance—United States, 2018. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 69(7), 1.

Maddow-Zimet, I. (2022, August 30). Pregnancies, Births and Abortions in the United States, 1973–2017: National and State Trends by Age. Guttmacher Institute.

Svenaeus, F. (2018). Phenomenology of pregnancy and the ethics of abortion. Medicine Health Care and Philosophy, 21(1), 77–87.

Author: Simon Doonan
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