American Public Health Association (APHA)
138th Annual Meeting and Exposition
6–10 November 2010
Abstract"What do Mexican Catholics think about sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion?"
Katherine S. Wilson, Gillian Garcia, Claudia Diaz, Sandra Garcia, and Maria Mejia
Mexico is majority Catholic but also has a large feminist movement and increasing secularization. Amidst ongoing debate around sexual and reproductive rights, it is important to assess what Mexican Catholics think about these issues.
Assess knowledge and opinion of Mexican Catholics about sexual and reproductive rights and Catholic values.
We conducted a national household probability survey of Mexican Catholics aged 18 and over. The survey covered Catholic values, sexual and reproductive rights, opinions of abortion laws, and Church/state separation. We are conducting multivariate analysis to assess predictors of support for sexual and reproductive rights and present preliminary results here.
Among 3,000 respondents, 51% were women and 84% attended church sometimes or frequently. Most (55%) agreed that a woman is still a good Catholic if she has an abortion (33% disagreed). Also, 85% agreed that Catholics should use condoms to prevent HIV, and 66% thought gays/lesbians should be open about their sexuality. Most (54%) believed that abortion should be legal sometimes, 24% always, and 16% never. If a woman were to disclose to a priest during confession about a previous illegal abortion, 88% thought the priest should maintain her confidentiality. If she disclosed to a provider, 65% thought that the physician should protect her confidentiality.
Findings suggest that Mexican Catholics have more progressive views about sexual and reproductive rights, especially abortion, than the Church. There should be greater engagement of practicing Catholics in education and advocacy around sexual and reproductive rights.
- Advocacy for health and health education
- Diversity and culture
- Ethics, professional, and legal requirements
- Public health or related research
- Social and behavioral sciences
- Describe the range of Mexican opinion about sexual and reproductive rights
- Differentiate how the public's views differ from those of the Catholic Church
- Identify implications for policy and advocacy
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