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2009 | nr 2(156) | 73--114
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Changing attitudes and behaviour concerning contraception and abortion in Poland

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The study on changes in attitudes towards contraception and abortion and the contraception use among generations at the procreative age in Poland is based on the data coming from two Polish Retrospective Surveys carried out in 2001 and 2006. Poland is a country with very restricted abortion law, very few legal abortions. Additionally, available data on contraception show that its use and methods applied are still far from patterns observed in other countries of Europe. In parallel, Poles have changed considerably their procreative behaviour after 1989 - TFR dropped to the lowest-low level (1,2 in 2003) and despite some improvements fertility in Poland remains low (TFR reached 1.4 in 2009). In the last two decades the Polish society, considered to be a traditional Catholic society, is undergoing a deep social transformation, including also changes in values and norms (social, religious, legal norms, etc.), important for attitudes and behaviour related to family. The unique data coming from two surveys makes it possible to investigate how views on abortion and contraception evolve over time and to analyse contraceptive behaviour. Descriptive and model-based analyses refer to relevant determinants usually mentioned in the literature: the education attainment, the role of social networks and the religiosity as well as some personal attributes. The results revealed that the increasing number of people accepts contraception unconditionally. For those who declare their approval for contraception in some situation the number of children is a decisive determinant. Contraception patterns are being slowly modernised - condoms are still the most preferred means followed by contraceptive pills. The natural methods are in use mostly by couples. In addition, there is still quite remarkable the percentage of people declaring no contraception use. Attitudes towards abortion seem to undergo some polarisation. The dominant opinion claims that it is a couple's decision to terminate a pregnancy while the opposing group perceives abortion as strongly immoral. The role religion in people's life also matters for attitudes towards abortion. However, a relatively strong disapproval is declared also among persons who do not regard religion as important in their life while some religious people permit abortion. As hypothesised, Poles' attitudes regarding family-planning and their behaviour changed considerably. Results of testing the role of the education attainment, social networks and the religiosity reveal the complexity of family-planning decisions, which strongly depend on the socio-cultural background and personal preferences. The picture seems to suggest the diminishing role of religiosity and ongoing individualisation process in terms of methods of birth control. (original abstract)
Opis fizyczny
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