abortion2000: Abortion Attitudes from the 2000 General Social Survey

Description Usage Format Note Source


This dataset, which was extracted from the 2000 General Social Survey (GSS) (Smith et al., 2019), reports the responses of adults in the United States to seven questions about legalized abortion. The questions began, “Please tell me whether or not you think it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if...” The abortion items were given to a random two-thirds subsample of GSS participants, so about 33% of the values are NA by design. Refusal to answer the question (a rare occurrence) was also coded here as NA.

The data frame also includes variables on age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, education, religious and political affiliation. A second race item, which was modeled after the race question on the U.S. Census questionnaire, was given to a random half-sample.

In general, analyses of GSS data should account for the complex sample design. Sample weights, stratum and cluster indicators are included for this purpose.




a data frame with 2,817 rows and 19 variables:


respondent's age, a factor with levels "18-29", "30-49", "50-64", and "65+"


respondent's sex, a factor with levels "Female" and "Male"


respondent's race, a factor with levels "White", "Black", and "Other"; see NOTE below


respondent's race, a factor with levels "White", "Black", "Hisp" and "Other"; see NOTE below


respondent's Hispanic classification, a factor with levels "nonHisp" and "Hisp"


respondent's education, a factor with levels "<HS" (did not finish high school), "HS" (high school diploma), "JunCol" (junior college), "Bach" (Bacheor's degree), and "Grad" (graduate degree)


respondent's religious preference, a factor with levels "Prot" (Protestant), "Cath" (Roman Catholic), "Jewish", "None", and "Other"


respondent's political party identification, a factor with levels "Dem" (Democrat), "Rep" (Republican), and "Ind/Oth" (Independent or Other); see NOTE below


respondent's political views, a factor with levels "Con" (Conservative), "Mod" (Moderate), and "Lib" (Liberal)

Each of the next seven variables below is a factor with levels "Yes", "No", and "DK" (don't know). The items were prefixed by, “Please tell me whether or not you think it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if...”


“...If there is a strong chance of serious defect in the baby?”


“...If she is married and does not want any more children?”


“...If the woman's own health is seriously endangered by the pregnancy?”


“...If the family has a very low income and cannot afford any more children?”


“...If she became pregnant as a result of rape?”


“...If she is not married and does not want to marry the man”


“...The woman wants it for any reason?”

The three variables below may be used to compute estimates and standard errors that account for the survey's complex sample design:


numeric sampling weight, inversely proportional to the individual's probability of being selected into the sample


integer code identifying the stratum for variance estimation


integer code identifying the primary sampling unit (PSU) (i.e., the primary cluster) within stratum for variance estimation; see NOTE below


Race, which corresponds to the GSS variable race, is based on the interviewer's assessment of the respondent's race. When interviewers were not sure, they could ask the respondent, “What race do you consider yourself?”

CenRace is a collapsed version of the GSS variable racecen1. That variable, which was modeled on the race question in the U.S. Census, was given to half of the GSS sample in 2000 and to the full sample in subsequent years. Participants could choose from over a dozen race categories, or they could select “Some other race” and provide their own. The "Hisp" values represent those who chose “Some other race” and described themselves as Hispanic, Latino, Latina, or something similar.

Party is based on the GSS variable partyid. Level "Dem" includes Democrat-leaning Independents, and "Rep" includes Republican-leaning Independents.

The cluster identifier VPSU is nested within the stratum identifier VSTRAT; for example, VPSU == 1 in VSTRAT == 1644 and VPSU == 1 in VSTRAT == 1645 represent different clusters.


Smith, T.W., Davern, M., Freese, J., and Morgan, S.L. (2019) General Social Surveys, 1972–2018. National Data Program for the Social Sciences, No. 25., 1 data file (64,814 logical records) + 1 codebook (3,758 pp.). Chicago: NORC.

cvam documentation built on Oct. 18, 2021, 5:09 p.m.