abortionby Kelli

“People influence others with regard to all manner of things. In this situation, people who are supportive [of legal abortion] are hearing one thing, and people who are opposed to abortion are less likely to hear those stories,” Sarah Cowan, an assistant professor in NYU’s Department of Sociology and the study’s author, told The Huffington Post. “Public opinion on abortion has remained remarkably stable, and I’m proposing that one possible explanation for that stability is the way in which individuals talk about it.”

According to Cowan, however, it is not clear that if anti-abortion individuals begin to hear more personal stories from women around them, they will necessarily become more supportive of abortion rights. In fact, at least one woman in the survey said she had become increasingly anti-abortion in recent years, after hearing too many personal stories in which abortion was used as contraception.

“The jury’s still out about what would happen if there was a massive coming out campaign — if the veil was lifted and all of these secrets were revealed… but I anticipate that it would change,” Cowan said. “If someone really wanted to push me to say which direction I thought it would go in, I anticipate that it would swing more positive [toward abortion rights]. But that’s with a thousand grains of salt.”

~ Catherine Pearson, The Huffington Post, December 12

[Photo via mamamia.com.au]

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