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Sample Essay on the Law Attitude to Abortion in Different States

July 23rd, 2017

Ever since the historic Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, the legalization of abortion has been a divisive and hotly debated issue in the USA, with public opinion split down the middle. But it might surprise you to learn what factors truly influence the opinion on this issue. While religion, race and educational level all play a small role, the sharpest difference exists based on a geographical region. This difference is most obvious when comparing the New England region (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) with those of the Central South (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas).

Back in 1995, the Washington Post found an 18-point divide in public opinion between the New England and the South Central regions. Since that time, this divide has doubled, with a 35-point spread between these two regions, which still represent the highest and lowest populations of those in favor of legalized abortion. Support for legalized abortion in the South has dropped from 52 to 40 percent since 1995.

Even more telling, several of the Southern states have enacted anti-abortion laws in the last few years.  The TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider) laws have resulted in the closure of many abortion clinics in the South. In 2013, Texas passed such restrictive abortion legislation that all but six of its abortion providers were forced to close.

The statistics reveal that legislation such as this is a reflection of public opinion. A 2013 Pew Research poll found that in New England 75% of those surveyed believed that abortion should be legal in most cases, while only 40% of those surveyed in the South Central states believed this to be true. 52% of respondents in the South Central states believed abortion should be illegal in almost all cases, while only 20% of those from New England held this view.

The Pacific Coast and the Mid-Atlantic region also showed more liberal “pro-choice views”, while the MidWest and the South Atlantic regions veered more to the conservative camp. The Mountain West and the Great Lakes regions showed a far smaller divide, split almost 50/50.

Similar widening regional gaps in opinion can be found regarding other issues such as the legalization of same-sex marriage. The sharp differences, especially between the New England and South Central regions, can be at least partly explained by differences in religious beliefs, political affiliations, and social classes.

As such differences become more pronounced, it highlights the deep political division which has become the norm in American ideology. Is another American Civil War brewing? As these two regions become increasingly divided on a number of issues, it almost appears to be a possibility.

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