Medical Students and Their Attitudes Toward Abortion: An Assessment of Which Factors Influence Medical Students' Willingness or Unwillingness to Perform Abortions

Date of Award

Summer 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Mona Danner

Committee Member

Katarina Wegar

Committee Member

William Agyel

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 K78


The purpose of this research is to determine which factors, if any, influence medical students' willingness or unwillingness to perform abortions. Ample research has been conducted evaluating both the general population's and college students' attitudes toward abortion; however, limited research has been collected on medical students. The present research study attempts to fill this void. The following research questions will be reviewed and evaluated throughout the current study: (1) What personal factors if any influence medical students' willingness or unwillingness to terminate a pregnancy; (2) Are medical students willing to perform abortions for the reasons that women are requesting them; (3) Are medical students' willingness or unwillingness to perform abortions related to a woman's culpability in her pregnancy? In order to evaluate these research questions, an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all first, second, third, and fourth year medical students at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Analyses reveal that religious affiliation, strength of religiosity, and personal experience with abortion influence one's willingness to perform abortions. This research also revealed that medical students are not willing to perform abortions for the reasons women are requesting them. In addition, a woman's degree of culpability for her pregnancy and abortion decision appear to influence whether or not a medical student will be willing to perform an abortion for a patient.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).



This document is currently not available here.