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16 and Pregnant Makes Americans Favor Legal Abortion

Americans Are More Likely to Support Abortion After Watching 16 and Pregnant

A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute set out to determine how people's moral values impact their views on abortion. It found that knowing someone who has had an abortion and watching either 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom on MTV significantly increase the likelihood a person will support legal abortion.

Both knowing someone who has had an abortion and watching a specific person on TV deal with an unwanted pregnancy give abortion more context. It's not surprising that when the debate is less hypothetical and more concrete, more people favor a woman's right to choose. Let's take a closer look at how these reality shows specifically shape the public's view, according to this new survey:

  • 65 percent of Americans who have seen 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom support legal abortion in all or most cases, compared to 56 percent of the general public.
  • 48 percent of those who have watched say abortion is morally acceptable, compared to 40 percent of the public.
  • 65 percent of those who have watched the shows say health care professionals in their communities should provide abortions, compared to only 34 percent of the general public.

With the tabloid covers and pseudo-celebrity status bestowed on the teen moms, MTV has taken heat for glamorizing teen pregnancy. Do you think this study makes a positive case for the shows?

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