Abortion referendums: Is there a recipe for success?

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The topic of abortion has been among the most salient and polarizing issues on the European continent since the 1960s. However, abortion referendums have not received much attention from political scientists—to date, there is no comparative analysis of such popular votes. This article goes beyond the usual models of single case/country analyses and examines nationwide referendums on this policy in four European countries from the last four decades. The analysis focuses on twelve referendums and aims to identify the factors behind the pro‐choice or pro‐life outcome of a referendum by exploring the impact of relative consensus within the parliament, support of the head of government and medical experts, and the level of secularization of the country. The findings suggest that these factors have a substantial influence on the outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-389
Number of pages38
JournalPolitics & Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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