A Contextual Analysis of Catholicism and Abortion Attitudes in Western Europe

Document Type



The effects of Roman Catholicism on attitudes toward abortion in Western Europe are examined at the individual and country levels. At the individual level, Catholicism consistently occasions negative attitudes toward legal abortion. However, the contextual effects of Roman Catholicism run in the opposite direction, meaning that non-Catholics living in predominantly Catholic countries are more likely to approve of legal abortion than their counterparts in nations with Protestant majorities. The implications of these findings for Catholic political activism are discussed.


Catholic Studies | Political Science | Religion | Women's Studies