The influence of religious beliefs on general practitioners' attitudes towards termination of pregnancy--a pilot study

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Aug;24(5):557-61. doi: 10.1080/01443610410001722644.


We set out to examine the attitudes of general practitioners in the West Norfolk area towards requests for abortion for various reasons and explore the factors that may influence their views, particularly their religious beliefs. This cross-sectional survey was conducted using a questionnaire, targeting 140 general practitioners. A response rate of 51.4% was achieved. All respondents were older than 30, and were mostly males (84.6%), married (93.8%) with children (90.9%). Most were either Church of England Christians (C of E) (48.5%) or had no stated religion (35.3%). The former were significantly less likely to agree with abortion than the latter for social reasons (P = 0.02) or in the case of teenage pregnancy (P = 0.006). A total of 73.8% of respondents followed-up patients after termination. Other associations were indicated, but were not statistically significant. Larger studies are needed to verify these associations for general practitioners in general.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion*
  • State Medicine
  • Surveys and Questionnaires