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Attitudes Toward Abortion in a Sample of South African Female University Students


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Cynthia Joan Patel, School of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, King George V Avenue, Durban 4041, South Africa. E-mail:


This study examines the structure of abortion attitudes in a sample of 124 full-time female university residence students, the relationship between self-rated religiosity and abortion attitudes, as well as their knowledge of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act passed in South Africa in 1996. The data provide evidence for the existence of an underlying structure of abortion attitudes, which is complex and multifaceted. Almost 76% of the students described themselves as religious to very religious, and a pronounced trend toward pro-life is evident.