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Many Americans who are morally opposed to abortion will still help friends and family seeking abortion: Studies

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A significant minority of Americans who are morally opposed to abortion nevertheless provide help to friends and close family members looking for an abortion and find new analyzes of both public opinion data and in-depth interviews. In particular, these views are similar to those held by Americans who do not consider abortion immoral or ambiguous about abortion.


“Many people are willing or have helped with the deal. friend Or the family Legal abortionIncluding those who are morally opposed to it, “said Sarah Cowan, a professor of sociology at New York University and the lead author of an article published in the journal. Science Advances.. “At first glance, these people may look like hypocrites. They are not. They are at a moral crossroads, pulled by the opposition to abortion and the tendency to support those they care about. I have. ”

The publication of this study, drawn from surveys and interviews conducted in 2018 and 2019, was triggered by individuals in the United States when plaintiffs underwent an abortion or six weeks gestation.

Researchers in this study, including Tricia Bruce and Bridget Ritz at the University of Notre Dame, Blair Perry and Elizabeth Anderson at Indiana University, and Stuart Pellet at New York University, type The number of aids Americans are willing to provide varies.

“Americans expand more aggressively Support of the heart Or, rather than helping fund the procedure and related costs to help arrange an abortion for close friends and family, the author writes. “This distinction may reflect the social implications of money. Establishing one’s own values. Refusing to contribute directly to the procedure is morally opposed to abortion, but It may be a strategy used to mitigate conflicting values ​​by placing an acceptable distance between their help and the abortion itself. “

They have developed a term to capture the willingness to provide assistance in the event of a conflict with personal values. Dissonant mercy..

In a broader sense, the question of what we do when a request for help from a friend or family evokes conflicting values ​​is whether it helps a friend cheat on an exam or a brother’s misconduct. It is a general question of whether to hide.

In Science Advances In the study, the team sought to better understand how to navigate our desire to help others when doing so could be contrary to our values. .. They focused on abortion. Because it is a general procedure and its financial and logistical requirements usually require the help of a loved one.

To that end, researchers surveyed both data from the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS), which measures public opinion on various concerns, and 74 of 217 detailed interviews with the National Abortion Attitudes Study.

The GSS data shows that:

  • Overall, 88% of Americans provide emotional support, 72% assist in arranging rides, childcare, etc., more than half assist in paying incidental costs, and about a quarter of the abortion itself. He said he would support payments.
  • Of those who are morally opposed to abortion, 76% said they would provide emotional support. Compared to 96% of those who are not morally opposed or who express their views depending on the situation.
  • However, there was a much bigger difference between other forms of support. Only 6% of morally opposed people help friends and relatives pay for the procedure, compared to 54% who are not morally opposed.
  • There were smaller differences between attitudes in arranging abortions (eg giving a ride to the clinic). More than 40% of morally opposed people said they would help their friends and relatives in this case. In contrast, nearly 80% have a “dependent” view and 91% do not morally oppose it.

Interviews conducted in different parts of the United States in 2019 show how Americans engaged in discordant mercy understand it. Three logics dominate. One is that despite imperfections, friends and family deserve help. The second is to make an exception just because a friend or family member is a friend / family member.And three, that friend or Family members Make independent moral decisions. All three logics, which researchers have named “sympathy,” “exemption,” and “discretion,” all encourage discordant mercy.

“that is abortionCo-author Bruce said, “A higher level of help amplifies the feelings of internal conflict among Americans who are morally opposed. Many still help their friends, family, But a reasonable amount and reason. ”


National abortion studies discover unruly labels, knowledge gaps, and a desire for moral debate


For more information:
Sarah K. Cowan, Dissonant Mercy: How and Why People Help Others in the Face of Conflicts of Values, Science Advances (2022). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abj5851.. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abj5851

Quote: Many Americans who are morally opposed to abortion will still help friends and family seeking abortion: Study (February 18, 2022) https://phys.org/news/2022-02- Obtained February 18, 2022 from large-americans-morally-opposite-abortion.html

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Many Americans who are morally opposed to abortion will still help friends and family seeking abortion: Studies

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