Dr. Farr A. Curlin and team set out to determine what Ob/Gyns (obstetrician-gynecologists) thought regarding the beginning of pregnancy. They also wanted to know what measure characteristics were linked to the belief that pregnancy started at implantation instead of conception.
The researchers posted a questionnaire to 1,800 Ob-Gyns in the USA, all of them practicing their profession at that time. Their main focus was when they thought pregnancy started.
The questionnaire gave the following response options:
- At conception (the union of the sperm and the egg, also known as fertilization)
- When the embryo is implanted in the uterus
- Not sure
"Primary predictors were religious affiliation, importance of religion, and having a moral objection to abortion."
Below are some highlighted data from their findings:
- 66% (1154) of the doctors responded to the questionnaire
- 57% answered - at conception
- 28% answered - at implantation
- 16% answered - not sure
In an abstract in the journal, the authors concluded:
"Obstetrician-gynecologists' beliefs about when pregnancy begins appear to be shaped significantly by whether they object to abortion and by the importance of religion in their lives."