Disparity on state views on abortion

Disparity on state views on abortion


The article, Widening Regional Divide over Abortion Laws, was published in July 29, 2013. It investigates the disparities regarding public attitudes about abortion in different regions of the country. This observation is despite the country having witnessed largely steady opinions on the subject of abortion for the last 20 years. The disparity is such that southern states are in opposition of legal abortion with states in the north being in support of the same. New developments in states such as Texas that has recently passed laws restricting abortion point to the changing opinions. In fact, it is the only state where opposition to legal abortion has increased in the years following the mid 1990s. These reports are in contrast to states in the north such as New England that are in support of legal abortion. Consequently, the gap between these two regions is on a continued increase.

The research finds that more than half of the American population is in support of legal abortion representing 54% of the country. In contrast, about 40% of the population argues that abortion should be illegal (Dost, 2013). These views have remained steady and constant over the past twenty years striking a balanced opinion in the process. Thirteen states in the south have all passed legislation banning abortions at no later than 22 weeks of pregnancy. In these states, 49% of the population believes that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. Only 36% of the population in the other 37 states agrees with the sentiments with 58% of them saying that it should be legal. The statistics from t5his study reveal a divide across the two regions whereby New England is in support of abortion and South Central opposes abortion.

In New England, 75% of the residents believe that abortion should be legalized with only 20% saying otherwise. In the neighboring Pacific Coast region, about 65% of the population is in support of abortion as well as the 61% of the population in Mid-Atlantic. It is only in South Central that residents have the least support for abortion with most of the states recording disapproval ratings of about 52%. In these states, only an approximate of 40% of the population agrees that abortion should be legal. The difference in opinion regarding abortion is almost similar to the issue of gay marriages where most South Central states oppose its legalization. It is projected that the disparities identified will widen over time as support for abortion increases in New England while decreasing in South Central.


The paper is relevant to the subject under study bas it relates to the law making process. According to Dye et al (p.1), the decisions in a democracy are made by a small group of elites and not the entire republic. Indeed, the solutions affecting the society are addressed through interventions driven to suit the needs of a few people in society. The case in point is the issue of abortion where the South Central region is against the issue of abortion while the states in the northern parts are in support of its legalization. In essence, the inclination of the two regions in different paths reflects the difference in ideologies among the ruling class. In addition, these elites may either be self serving or public minded to reflect the views of the public (Shapiro, p. 996). It is therefore not surprising that the states whose population supports abortion have laws to that effect. On the other hand, the South Central region has laws restricting the practice of abortion as shaped in the views of the population.

The concept of a mass government is not viable in any democracy (Schudson, p. 547). Consequently, the decisions pertaining to the people must be made through an elitist system where the wishes of the people are addressed by a select few. The government is the custodian of the people and any action taken must be seen to reflect the will of the people. The will of the people appears to have a fair representation in the legislations made within the different states (Page & Robert, p. 184). The devolution of the US government into different states is in itself a step in the right direction as it brings power closer to the people. In this foregoing, the people are better represented as opposed to a central government where decisions do not reflect the will of the people. The article is testament to this fact as different states hold different views on the subject. The influence of the people as well as their culture is an important factor in governance (Schudson, p. 549). For instance, the people in South Central are more likely to hold onto conservative views owing to their values. In extension, their views are represented in the law making process resulting in the banning of abortion and the prohibition of gay marriages.

Critical eye

The presentation of the results in the article is done in a systematic manner showing a clear relationship. The author first presents some background information that is important in building up the case. By showing that the opinions have remained steady for more than two decades, the author presents the identified result as a change in the views among the people of different states. Despite this clear introduction, the author appears to be biased in the reporting of results. In fact, all the specific statistics are only reported to represent Texas and New England. Perhaps the reason for this bias is because of the difference in views held in the two different states. By reporting findings from these states alone, the author hopes to achieve a balance in the views held by people across the country. Despite this bias, the author managed to present the findings in a coherent fashion building the case along. Most importantly, the relevance of the findings is related to the process of law making where views of the public are upheld. Overall, the article was perfectly articulated and well done.

Personal insight

The report is sure to affect my personal life as the issue of abortion affects me. The critical analysis in the report presents findings with regard to the different views held by people from different states. I have come to understand that the views of the people are based on their personal experiences as well as their cultural views. The article is an eye opener to me on the matter of abortion and the different inclinations in different states. The article is also beneficial as it helps in understanding the ramifications of certain decisions based on the one’s residence. For instance, while it is not illegal to perform an abortion in New England, the same would attract a punishment in South Central. Most importantly, the article helps in understanding other issues that affect my daily life such as laws regulating driving and the reasons they are not uniform. In this regard, I can now understand and query the laws of different states before making decisions pertaining to relocations and travel.

Future impacts on society

The topic of abortion has a wide array of impacts on the lives of current and future generations. The article addresses the different opinions held across different states in the US with regard to the subject. The findings in this article are bound to affect the views of people based on their residence. For instance, people from South Central will believe that their states have conservative views and follow the same path. In addition, the views presented in the article may have an influence on future decisions as they will be cited in support of certain actions. For instance, future views on abortion will be based on the findings in this report and the place of residence. Also, children will be more vigilant in states that do not permit abortion such that they do not have to face the wrath of the law. However, states that permit abortion may end up with a morally decayed society as children engage in promiscuity. Finally, the topic of abortion has a potential impact on the number of people that will be born and the general population in the country. The states that allow abortion may end up having less population that states that restrict the practice.


Works cited

Dye, Thomas R, L H. Zeigler, and Louis Schubert. The Irony of Democracy: An Uncommon Introduction to American Politics. , 2015. Print.

Dost, Meredith. “Widening Regional Divide over Abortion Laws.” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press RSS. N.p., 2013. Retrieved on 02 Nov. 2016 from http://www.people-press.org/2013/07/29/widening-regional-divide-over-abortion-laws/.

Shapiro, Robert Y. “Public opinion and American democracy.” Public Opinion Quarterly 75.5 (2011): 982-1017.

Schudson, Michael. “The good citizen: A history of American civic life.” (2000): 546-549.

Page, Benjamin I., and Robert Y. Shapiro. “Effects of public opinion on policy.” American political science review 77.01 (1983): 175-190.



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