The Global Nature of the Abortion Debate: Realities and Prospects

  • Andrzej Kulczycki


This final chapter provides a more focused comparison between the three countries, concentrating on the more enduring aspects of the abortion debate and setting this discussion within a broader international context. As we have seen, total abortion rates in Kenya and Mexico are higher than in Western Europe and comparable to those found in the USA. They are even greater in Poland. Abortion rates will not decline further until contraceptive use becomes more widespread and effective. In all three countries studied here, issue mobilization over abortion is growing and is being facilitated by external linkages. This is generating pressure to reconsider and formulate new policies on abortion, a symbolically powerful issue. Nascent interest groups and liberal and left-wing political circles have clashed with the Catholic Church and groups spurred on by it. Although discussion about abortion is often poorly informed, the debate is moving from the private sphere to the public arena, slowly in the cases of Kenya and Mexico, rapidly in Poland. It is reaching agenda status as societies become more pluralistic and open to external interests, and states are finding it more difficult to contain the controversy and to reach an effective policy resolution.


Family Planning Abortion Rate Global Nature Abortion Service Church Leader 
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© Andrzej Kulczycki 1999

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  • Andrzej Kulczycki

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