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How Danes evaluate moral claims related to abortion: a questionnaire survey
  1. Sigurd Wiingaard Uldall
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sigurd Wiingaard Uldall, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Ryesgade 25b 2th., Copenhagen 2200, Denmark; sigurdwiingaard{at}


Objective To investigate how Danish citizens evaluate four moral claims related to abortion issues, regarding the moral status of the fetus, autonomy, harm and possible negative consequences of allowing abortion and to explore the association between moral beliefs and attitudes towards abortion for different reasons and at different gestational weeks.

Method A questionnaire was mailed to 1000 Danish citizens aged 18–45 years randomly drawn from the Danish Central Personal Register. A significance level of 0.05 was used for statistical estimations.

Results Four hundred and sixty-two responded to at least one moral claim. Two hundred and fifty-eight responded to all four claims without using the option ‘neither agree nor disagree’ and were classified as ‘morally engaged responders’. A majority of these had a pro-abortion moral. The general relationship between moral beliefs and attitudes towards abortion was morally sound. Being ‘morally engaged’ did not increase the likelihood of reaching moral judgement on whether requests for abortion should be permitted. Education, religion and parenthood were statistically associated with the investigated issues.

Discussion The direction of causality is discussed with reference to both moral reasoning and moral intuitions. The relationship between normative social behaviour and abortion attitudes is considered.

  • Abortion
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Moral Psychology

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