Abortion politics in the United States, 1972-1994: From single issue to ideology

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The political debates about legal abortion in the United States have intensified the ideological content of the issue. At the time that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nation-wide, conservatives were divided on the issue, as were liberals. By the late 1990s, conservatives had moved toward a pro-life stance while liberals reached consensus on supporting choice. Women began the politicization, beginning to split along ideological lines in the late 1970s; men followed in the 1980s. Attitudes toward women's roles and sexual morality are strongly correlated with opinions about abortion, and they explain about one-third of the recent ideological gap on abortion. They do not account for the trend toward politicization, however.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-34
Number of pages32
JournalGender Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies

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