Published: October 24, 2019

Ruppanner, L., Mikołajczak, G., Kretschmer, K., & Stout, C. T. (2019). Gender linked fate explains lower legal abortion support among white married women. PloS one14(10), e0223271.


Leah Ruppanner, Gosia Mikolajczak, Kelsy Kretschmer, & Christopher T. Stout.


Abortion is uniquely connected to women’s experiences yet women’s attitudes towards legal abortion vary across the pro-choice/anti-abortion spectrum. Existing research has focused on sociodemographic characteristics to explain women’s levels of abortion support. Here, we argue that abortion attitudes vary with women’s perceptions of gender linked fate, or the extent to which some women see their fates as tied to other women. Drawing upon existing research showing that married white women report lower levels of gender linked fate than their non-married counterparts, we assess these relationships for abortion attitudes applying the 2012 American National Election Survey (n = 2,173). Using mediation analysis, we show that lower levels of gender linked fate among married white women (vs. non-married white women) explain their stronger opposition to abortion. As many state governments are increasingly legislating restricted access to legal abortion, understanding factors explaining opposition to legal abortion is urgently important.