People’s Attitude Towards Abortion in Australia

People’s attitude towards abortion in Australia Abstract: The hypothesis, “It is apparent that in Australia people are not supportive of abortion. ” would be tested in the report. The aim of it was to reveal the current views of people in Australia towards abortion, under the circumstances of different age and cultural background. A questionnaire about justified reasons, legalization and values on abortion was constructed and the target group would be 20 international students and 20 local Australians.

The international students were mainly Chinese, and a few from South-East Asia. Though most participants did not have a really strong stance of supporting abortion or not, when there were further questions about Pro-choice behaviour and legalization of abortion, it was discovered that participants were actually in respect of freedom of choice, and agreed that abortion should be legalized. Therefore it could be said that comparing the 2 sides, participants were rather supportive to abortion.

Based on the results, extended researches covering a larger target group which could mostly represent different cultural groups could be conducted to test whether abortion was really generally acceptable or not or could it be legalized under all cases. Introduction Abortion had been a controversial issue for hundreds of years, discussions and debates were always held to argue whether it should or should not be declared legal.

This issue was crucial at all time because the attitude towards it were mainly influenced by various important values of life like morality, human rights and freedom of choice, adding that they were the key factors to determine whether it should be declared legal. “Abortion can be defined as the expulsion or removal of an embryo or foetus from the uterus of the pregnant mother” (Blade, 2008). It could be divided into two types. First, the “spontaneous abortion” occurs when the mother’s body ejects the foetus due to different reasons, usually natural ones (without human effort).

This report focused on another type of abortion, “induced abortion”. This was what people usually mean when they use the word abortion. In other words, it was the “termination of pregnancy”. After the Federation in 1901, abortion was handled by the British Offences Against the Person Act of 1861. In the act, abortion was illegal , no matter under what circumstances. However, since then, abortion would be legal in some cases under the law.

For instance, Natasha,(1998), suggested that under the McGuire ruling (1986) in Queensland, abortion could only be legalized when the mother was in threat that abortion could preserve her life or health. Another case that abortion could be legalized was that if the newborn baby would die immediately or within a short period. For the current legislation about it in Queensland under the Queensland Criminal Code, the viewpoint remained similar that the court would prohibit abortion unless the mothers life or health is in danger.

Though, it did not reveal any response on the change of attitudes of people towards abortion. The aim of the report was to reveal the current views of people in Australia towards abortion, under the circumstances of different age and cultural background(international students versus local Australians). It appeared that nowadays more and more people were supportive to abortion. This view would be supported by the results from survey and then a discussion part of it would be included and at last the conclusion and recommendation would be formulated.

Methodology: Questionnaires about the attitudes of abortion of people were used to collect data for the report. A qualitative methodology was used. The reason for choosing it was because the report focused more on depth, rather than quantity. According to the Family Health International (2005), a qualitative research provided information about the “human” side of an issue, which was often contradictory. It could also interpret the complex reality or create a better understanding to a specific situation and the implications of the qualitative data.

Another important point was that it could help identify intangible factors (age, gender, nationality, religion, etc) in the report. These factors were the keys that influence a person’s attitude toward the issue. The emphasis of the questionnaire was to understand participant’s standpoints for or against abortion, therefore 10 out of 14 questions were about their opinion, the rest were 3 attribute questions and 1 knowledge question. The total number of participants was 40. There were altogether 20 international students studying in Australia and 20 local Australians completed the questionnaire.

Among the participants, 23 of them were female and 17 were male. In the student group, 2 of them were under or below 18 and 18 were at the age of 19 to 30. Among the local Australians, 6 of them were between 31-45 and another 14 were 45 or above. A point to note was that for the international students, 15 of them were Chinese. To make sure the information would be kept secret, no questions were about identity or other private information. The questionnaires were given out in two ways. The first way was to distribute them at school and at homes, and another way was to distribute them through the internet.

Participants were quite interested to the questionnaire as they thought that it was a controversial issue. However in the process, participants found confused with the last open-ended question about the relationship between culture, age and abortion as it was not required to state reasons but lines were given. Moreover, due to a lack of time in completing the questionnaire, i. e. in 5 or 10 minutes, the data collected might be distorted. Results: The purpose of the questionnaire was to find out the attitudes of people in Australia towards abortion.

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