The Perils of Wishful Thinking About Abortion

17 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2006

See all articles by Jonathan L. Entin

Jonathan L. Entin

Case Western Reserve University School of Law


This essay reviews The Politics of Abortion, a recent book by a sociologist. Although we could use a careful assessment of the current status of that divisive issue, this book does not fill the void. The author argues that most Americans are pro-life on the basis of fragmentary and anecdotal evidence, but a careful analysis of trends in public opinion over the past two decades suggests that attitudes have not changed dramatically despite a slight recent decline in approval of abortion. Moreover, gaps and omissions in the discussion of political trends and legal developments make the book an unreliable guide even for those who share the author's pro-life views.

Keywords: Abortion, pro-life, pro-choice, birth control, Roe v. Wade, pregnancy, politics of abortion, legality of abortion, morality of abortion, out-of-wedlock pregnancy

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32

Suggested Citation

Entin, Jonathan L., The Perils of Wishful Thinking About Abortion. Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, Vol. 17, Summer/Winter 2007; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-23. Available at SSRN:

Jonathan L. Entin (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3321 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

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