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Did you know that Germany harbours more opponents of abortion than the Western European countries neighbouring Germany?

September, 2017

ISS researcher Sarah Carol and her colleague Nadja Milewski from the University of Rostock investigated attitudes towards abortion in Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, and Switzerland. The analyses are based on the EURISLAM survey conducted among more than 5,000 natives and Muslim minorities from the former Yugoslavia, Turkey, Morocco and Pakistan.

The study shows that attitudes towards abortion vary across Western Europe (controlled for gender, age and education of the respondents). Despite similar regulations of abortion, natives in Germany are significantly more likely to oppose abortion than natives in France. The attitudes of Belgian, British and Swiss inhabitants lie in-between.

However, we see clear differences in the level of natives’ and migrants’ approval. While nearly every fifth migrant approves of abortion, every second native approves of abortion. These group and country differences can be partly explained by different levels of religiosity. Nevertheless, the gap between migrants and natives in France is the largest one. In relative terms, however, migrants and natives in France alike hold the least restrictive attitudes towards abortion. Overall, the similar country differences for migrants and natives suggest patterns of convergence.