Palabras clave

Academia, Género,
Derecho y Sexualidad.

Medical and midwifery student attitudes toward moral acceptability and legality of abortion, following decriminalization of abortion in Chile


Soon after Chile decriminalized abortion under three limited circumstances in 2017, we assessed medical and midwifery students’ attitudes about abortion morality and legality when compared to national opinions.
Study design

We administered an anonymous, online survey to medical and midwifery students from seven secular and religiously-affiliated universities in Santiago, Chile. We compared student responses to a nationally representative public opinion survey.
Main outcome measures

We examined three main outcomes related to abortion attitudes: (1) moral acceptability of abortion and legal support for abortion in (2) one or (3) all listed circumstances. We used general estimating equations to examine whether university type, field of study, and other student characteristics are associated with each outcome and compared student views toward abortion legality with those of the general public.

Among the 369 student respondents, most agreed that abortion can be a good thing for some women in some situations (82%). When compared to the general public, a larger proportion of students supported decriminalizing abortion in at least one (83% and 97%, respectively) or all (17% and 51%, respectively) seven listed circumstances. While secular university students held significantly more favorable views about abortion morality and legality than students from religiously-affiliated universities, the majority of students from both university types supported abortion in the three cases in which it was recently decriminalized.

Medical and midwifery students from not only secular but also religiously-affiliated universities are very supportive of the recent decriminalization of abortion, which presents training opportunities for both types of universities.

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