Thirty Years of Surveys Show Canadians Oppose Unrestricted Abortion


Canada’s abortion law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1988. Since then, there has been no law or restriction against abortion in Canada. Abortions can be performed at any time during pregnancy and for any reason. Annual polls conducted by Leger Marketing and Environics from 2002 to the present have consistently shown that Canadians do not support the status quo. The polls have found that only three in ten Canadians support the current policy in which there is no legal protection for human beings at any stage of development before birth.

Gallup Polls conducted from 1975 to 2000 show similar results, with nearly two-thirds of Canadians indicating they would support some restrictions on abortion. A 1999 Gallup poll showed that 51% of Canadians believed abortion should only be legal in certain circumstances, while an additional 9% would make abortions illegal in all circumstances. Only 37% of Canadians believed abortion should be legal in all circumstances.

Polls reveal that the majority of Canadians:

  • support laws to protect human life before birth;
  • support informed consent laws which would require that women be informed about fetal development and all health risks and complications before they choose to have an abortion;
  • support a law requiring parental consent for minors under the age of 18 to have an abortion;
  • believe abortions should either be funded privately or only funded in medical emergencies;
  • support a law that would make it a separate crime to kill or injure an unborn baby during an attack on the mother; and;
  • think sex-selected abortions should or should not be legal in Canada.

A total of almost two-thirds of Canadians think human life should be legally protected some time prior to the point of birth, including three in ten who think it should be protected from conception onwards. A 2011 poll shows that 26% of Canadians generally think that abortion should be illegal during the first three months of pregnancy, 58% think it should be illegal during the second three months, and 77% think it should be illegal during the last three months. Below are some tables detailing some interesting results from annual polls conducted by Leger Marketing and Environics from 2002 to 2011. All of the information from which these tables are derived can be found at www.lifecanada.org, which also provides full reports consisting of methodology and in depth analysis.

Question: In your opinion, at what point in human development should the law protect human life?

 
2002 %
2003 %
2004 %
2005 %
2006 %
2007 %
2008 %
From conception on
37313330313028
After three months of pregnancy
13212419232120
After six months of pregnancy
611111110119
From the point of birth
30282833303333
Don’t know/No answer
149476510

Question: This question concerns the development of human life before birth. According to medical research, a fetal heart begins to beat about three weeks after conception. Brain waves can be detected within two months after conception. By two months all organs and body parts are in place. In your opinion, at what point should the law protect human life?


 
2011 %
At conception
28
From 2 months on
17
From 3 months on
17
From 6 months on
10
At birth
20
Don’t know/No answer
9

Question: Some states in the U.S. have “informed consent” laws concerning abortion. These laws require that, before a woman has an abortion procedure, her physician must provide her with certain information such as details on the stages of fetal development including an ultrasound scan, the possible complications and side effects following an abortion, and alternatives to abortion. Do you support or oppose similar laws in Canada for women considering abortion?

 
2003 %
2004 %
2005 %
2006 %
2007 %
2008 %
Yes, support
697370716765
No, oppose
242527262930
Don’t know/No answer
733355

Question: At present in Canada it is legal for minors under the age of 18 to have an abortion without the consent of their parents. Do you support or oppose a law that requires minors under the age of 18 to have their parents’ consent in order to have an abortion?

 
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Yes, support
697370716765
No, oppose
242527262930
Don’t know/No answer
733355

Question: When it comes to the funding of abortions, which of the following three opinions is closest to your own?

 
2002 %
2003 %
2004 %
2005 %
2006 %
2007 %
2008 %
2011 %
Abortions should always be paid using the tax-funded health care system
2325262931323030
Abortions should be financed using tax dollars but only in medical emergencies, such as a threat to the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest
5153545048474954
Paying for abortions should be a private responsibility, either out-of-pocket or using Blue Cross or other private health care plans1515181818171713
Don’t know/No answer
117233343

Note: *For 2011 the third option from the top read as follows: “Paying for abortions should be the individual’s responsibility” as opposed to “Paying for abortions should be a private responsibility, either out-of-pocket or using Blue Cross or other private health care plans”.

Question: In the past two years there have been three cases in Canada where pregnant women have been murdered. Currently in Canada, the Criminal Code does not recognize a foetus as a human being, so someone who injures or kills an unborn child during an attack on the mother cannot be charged with two crimes. Would you support or oppose legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a foetus during an attack on the mother?

 
2007%
Yes, support
72
No, oppose
22
Depends3
Don’t know/No answer
3

Question: Males far outnumber females in a number of countries, such as China and India. This is partly the result of what are called “sex selection” abortions in which families choose to abort girl babies because boys are more highly valued. The lack of women can lead to a number of social problems. India and China have banned such abortions. Do you think sex-selected abortions should or should not be legal in Canada?

 
2011 %
Should be legal
5
Should not be legal
92
Don’t know/No answer
3

The tables and full report which include results pertaining to regional and socio-demographic subgroups can be viewed on the LifeCanada website (www.lifecanada.org) on their National Polls page at http://www.lifecanada.org/services/national-polls.

___________________________________________________________

Thirty Years of Surveys Show Canadians Oppose Unrestricted Abortion
Statistics from 2007

Canada’s abortion law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1988. Since then, there has been no law or restriction against abortion in Canada. Abortions can be performed at any time during pregnancy and for any reason. Annual polls conducted by Leger Marketing and Environics from 2002 to present have consistently shown that Canadians do not support the status quo. Commissioned by LifeCanada, the polls have found that only three in ten Canadians support the current policy in which there is no legal protection for human beings at any stage of development before birth.

Gallup Polls conducted from 1975 to 2000 show similar results, with nearly two-thirds of Canadians indicating they would support some restrictions on abortion. A 1999 Gallup poll showed that 51% of Canadians believed abortion should only be legal in certain circumstances, while an additional 9% would make abortions illegal in all circumstances. Only 37% of Canadians believed abortion should be legal in all circumstances. The Gallup polls were not commissioned by LifeCanada and were not associated with any other pro-life organization.

Polls revealed that the majority of Canadians:

  • support laws to protect human life before birth,
  • support informed consent laws which would require that women be informed about fetal development and all health risks and complications before they choose to have an abortion,
  • support a law requiring parental consent for minors under the age of 18 to have an abortion,
  • believe abortions should either be funded privately or only funded in medical emergencies,
  • support a law that would make it a separate crime to kill or injure an unborn baby during an attack on the mother.

A total of almost two-thirds of Canadians think human life should be legally protected some time prior to the point of birth, including three in ten who think it should be protected from conception onwards.

Question: In your opinion, at what point in human development should the law protect human life? Should it be…?

2002-2007

 
2002 %
2003 %
2004 %
2005 %
2006 %
2007 %
From conception on
373133303130
After three months of pregnancy
132124192321
After six months of pregnancy
61111111011
From the point of birth
302828333033
Don’t know/No answer
1494765


Seven in ten Canadians support “informed consent” laws in Canada similar to those in the United States for women considering abortion.

Question: Some states in the U.S. have “informed consent” laws concerning abortion. These laws require that, before a woman has an abortion procedure, her physician must provide her with certain information such as details on the stages of fetal development including an ultrasound scan, the possible complications and side effects following an abortion, and alternatives to abortion. Do you support or oppose similar laws in Canada for women considering abortion?

October 2003-2007

 
2003* %
2004 %
2005 %
2006 %
2007 %
Yes, support6973707167
No, oppose
2425272629
Don’t know/No answer
73335

More than five in ten Canadians are supportive of a law that requires those under the age of 18 to get parental consent in order to get an abortion.

Question: At present in Canada it is legal for minors under the age of 18 to have an abortion without the consent of their parents. Do you support or oppose a law that requires minors under the age of 18 to have their parents’ consent in order to have an abortion?

October 2004-2007

 
2004
2005
2006
2007
Yes, support
55565554
No, oppose42414243
Don’t know/No answer
3333

One-half of Canadians think abortions should be financed using tax dollars, but only in emergency situations, such as a threat to the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest.

Question: When it comes to the funding of abortions, which of the following three opinions is closest to your own?

 

October 2002-2007

 
2002* %
2003 %
2004 %
2005 %
2006 %
2007 %
Abortions should always be paid using the tax-funded health care system
232526293132
Abortions should be financed using tax dollars but only in medical emergencies, such as a threat to the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest
515353504847
Paying for abortions should be a private responsibility, either out-of-pocket or using Blue Cross or other private health care plans
151518181817
Don’t know/No answer
1172333

Seven in ten Canadians support legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a foetus during an attack on the mother

Question: In the past two years there have been three cases in Canada where pregnant women have been murdered. Currently in Canada, the Criminal Code does not recognize a foetus as a human being, so someone who injures or kills an unborn child during an attack on the mother cannot be charged with two crimes. Would you support or oppose legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a foetus during an attack on the mother?

 
2007
Yes, support
72
No, oppose22
Depends3
Don’t know/No answer
3

The tables and full report which include results pertaining to regional and socio-demographic subgroups can be viewed on the LifeCanada website (www.lifecanada.org) on their National Polls page at http://www.lifecanada.org/services/national-polls.

 

 

 

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