by Maria Vitale Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 4, 2005
Canberra, Australia (LifeNews.com) — The majority of Australians want to see the number of abortions in their country decline, according to a new survey.
"It is conservatively estimated that one in four Australian pregnancies ends in abortion – and 73 percent of Australians believe that rate is too high," said Dr. John Fleming on behalf of the Adelaide-based non-denominational Southern Cross Bioethics Institute.
However, the poll of 1200 people indicated that most Australians do not want an end to legal abortion.
"More significantly, an overwhelming 87 percent of Australians endorse an approach that works to reduce the number of abortions without restricting access to the procedure," Fleming added.
The poll found seven out of 10 Australians agreed that abortion should continue based upon women’s rights and the idea that abortion is "a necessary evil."
However, 58 percent did not accept the "fetus is not a person" argument.
Fleming added that Australians want an end to the polarization over abortion.
"Between what many Australians view as the twin poles of the abortion debate, pro-choice and pro-life, there is a continuum of varying opinions, reasons and levels of comfort," Fleming said.
Still, many Australians admit they know little about abortion and an overwhelming majority believes in giving women alternatives to abortion.
"Only 22 percent of Australians believe they are well informed on abortion, and 71 percent want a continuing and inclusive debate about giving women real alternatives to abortion, and the opportunity to continue their pregnancies. Women need to be aware of alternatives," Fleming said.
Sixty-two percent of respondents supported abortion on demand, although the support was reduced when different circumstances were considered.
Support for abortion was highest-at 85 percent-in cases involving fetal disability and lowest-15 percent-when the fetus was healthy and there was no abnormal risk to the mother.