A cross-national perspective on attitudes towards abortion among Muslim minorities and majority group members in Western Europe

Sarah Carol, University of Cologne
Nadja Milewski, Universität Rostock

Why do Europeans with and without immigration background oppose or approve of abortion? To investigate this question, we draw on the unique large scale EURISLAM survey with natives in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland as well as Muslim minorities from the former Yugoslavia, Morocco, Turkey and Pakistan in the same five Western European countries. Departing from assimilation theory, we hypothesize that the social climate towards abortion in the countries of residence is important to explain minorities’ attitudes. The study highlights that Muslim minorities of different origins partly adopt these country-of-residence attitudes with French having the most liberal in contrast to Germans with the least liberal attitudes. Nevertheless, differences between Muslims, Christians, and Atheists remain and cannot entirely be explained. These differences are likely to persist in near future as the second generation is more reluctant to approve of abortion than the first generation.

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Presented in Session 120: Abortion: attitudes and determinants