Hartwick professor presents paper on abortion laws

Feb. 7—A recent study on public attitudes toward abortion laws reveals that increased knowledge about pregnancy leads to a higher likelihood of opposing legislation restricting women's access to abortions, according to a media release from Hartwick College.

The study, conducted by a research team that included Laurel Elder, a political science professor and department chair at Hartwick, also indicates that laws limiting abortion after 12 weeks do not enjoy greater support compared to those limiting access after six weeks.

"This research study is part of a larger book project we are working on examining the shift in public opinion on abortion in the wake of the 2022 Dobbs decision," Elder said. "Our research shows the complete bans on abortion enacted over the past year and a half, as well as arguably more moderate six-, 12- or 15-week bans, are very unpopular with the American public."

The findings emerged from a survey of 1,356 U.S. adults in September of 2023 with demographics representative of the U.S. population. Democrats or those that lean Democrat accounted for 43% of the participants, 38% were Republicans or leaned Republican, and 19% were independent.

Elder wrote the paper, "Public Opinion on Abortion in Post-Roe America," with co-authors Steven Greene, professor at North Carolina State University, and Mary-Kate Lizotte, professor at Augusta University.

The trio presented their findings at the 2024 Southern Political Science Association Conference held from Jan. 10-13 in New Orleans, La.