21st June 2019, Volume 132 Number 1497

Yanshu Huang, Danny Osborne, Chris G Sibley

According to the United Nations, access to reproductive rights, including abortion, is a basic human right.1 However, abortion is currently only legal under a few circumstances in New Zealand. These…

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Summary

In 2016/17, the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study, a large survey of New Zealander’s social attitudes, assessed support for legalised abortion in New Zealand. We found that New Zealanders hold high levels of support for legalised abortion when the woman’s life is endangered. Additionally, our results showed that New Zealanders hold moderate-to-high levels of support for legalised abortion, regardless of the reason for seeking an abortion. These results suggest that New Zealanders are supportive of legalised abortion in New Zealand.

Abstract

Aim

The present study examined the sociodemographic correlates of support for legalised abortion in New Zealand.

Method

Data (N=19,973) were from the 2016/17 New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study, a national longitudinal panel sample of New Zealand adults aged 18 and older. The survey measured support for legalised abortion (a) regardless of the reason and (b) when the woman’s life is endangered, as well as (c) focal sociodemographic correlates.

Results

Our sample expressed moderate-to-high support for legalised abortion regardless of the reason and high support for abortion when the woman’s life is endangered. Being religious, living in a more deprived neighbourhood and having more children all correlated negatively with support for both measures of abortion. Men were less supportive of abortion for any reason but did not differ from women’s support for legalised abortion when the woman’s life is endangered. Furthermore, age correlated negatively with support for abortion for any reason, but positively with support for abortion when a woman’s life is endangered.

Conclusion

A majority of our respondents expressed high levels of support for legalised abortion. Several sociodemographic factors were significantly associated with support for legalised abortion.

Author Information

Yanshu Huang, PhD Student, School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland; 
Danny Osborne, Associate Professor, School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland;
Chris G Sibley, Professor, School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

Yanshu Huang was supported by a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship during the preparation of this manuscript. Chris Sibley and Danny Osborne were supported by a Performance Based Research Fund grant from the School of Psychology, University of Auckland. Mplus syntax for the models reported here appear on the NZAVS website. 
(http://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/NZAVS).

Correspondence

Yanshu Huang, School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142.

Correspondence Email

yanshu.huang@auckland.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

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