Social Currents, 2022
Bueno, X., LaRoche, K., Crawford, B. L., Turner, R., Lo, W.-J., & Jozkowski, K. (2022). Do Fetal Development Markers Influence Attitudes toward Abortion Legality? Social Currents.
Bueno, Xiana, K. LaRoche, Brandon L. Crawford, R. Turner, Wen-Juo Lo, and K. Jozkowski. “Do Fetal Development Markers Influence Attitudes toward Abortion Legality?” Social Currents (2022).
Bueno, Xiana, et al. “Do Fetal Development Markers Influence Attitudes toward Abortion Legality?” Social Currents, 2022.
In the United States, legislation intended to limit abortion access based on fetal development markers (e.g., heartbeat, fetal pain) has become increasingly common. We found that people’s support for legal abortion decreases when survey items mention fetal developmental markers compared with items that do not. However, the majority of participants supported access to legal abortion in health-related circumstances or pregnancies as a result of rape at the detection of a fetal heartbeat. Using terms that personify the fetus may evoke responses from participants that limit their endorsement of abortion. Thus, including this terminology in the public and political discourse seems to influence abortion attitudes. This might have implications related to electoral outcomes which eventually determine whether pregnant people are guaranteed access to abortion.