Canada Residents Becoming More Pro-Life on Abortion, Poll Shows

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 14, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Residents Becoming More Pro-Life on Abortion, Poll Shows Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 14
, 2006

Ottawa, Canada ( — A new poll finds Canadians are more open to limits on abortions than previously thought and reveals that a larger percentage of Canadians want to protect unborn children in both the early and later stages of pregnancy than some might have expected. The poll also finds Canadians are becoming increasingly pro-life.

Canadians have a reputation as being more favorably disposed to abortion than Americans, but the poll finds strong pro-life undercurrents in Canadian thinking.

The pro-life group LifeCanada has contracted with the Environics Research Group to conduct an annual survey of the attitudes of Canadians.

The poll asked Canadians when they thought the law should begin protecting human life.

Some 31 percent said human life should be protected from conception, an increase of one percent over last year’s results.

Another 23 percent favored protecting human life after three months of pregnancy, up from 19 percent last year; 10 percent said to protect human life after six months of pregnancy, down from 11 percent, and 30 percent of Canadians say human life shouldn’t be protected until birth, down 3 percent from the last survey.

The poll shows an upwards shift of 5 percent for protecting at conception or earlier in pregnancy and a downward shift of 4 percent for waiting to protect life until birth or after six months of a pregnancy.

The survey also asked respondents whether they would favor American-style laws that would require abortion facilities to give women accurate information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.

Some 71 percent of Canadians back such laws, an increase of one percent form last year’s poll while just 26 percent (down one percent from a year ago) said they opposed telling women the truth about the dangers abortion presents.

In 1967, Canadian justice minister Pierre Trudeau presented a bill to legalize abortion and it became law in 1969. In January 1988, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled, on an appeal filed by abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler, that Canada’s abortion law was unconstitutional. Abortion is now legal in Canada with no limitation on when to perform it.

There were 105,154 abortions performed in Canada in 2002, according to Statistics Canada.

Some 15.4 of every 1,000 Canadian women 14 to 44 years old had an abortion in 2002, a rate which has been steady since the Canadian Supreme Court ruled decision in 1988.

The Environics Research Group conducted the new poll from September 18 to October 12 with interviews with 2,021 Canadian adults. The margin of error is 2.2 percent.

In September, Pope Benedict XVI criticized Canada for its laws allowing abortion. He said they result in part because numerous pro-abortion Catholic politicians are ignoring their faith and putting their own beliefs ahead of the values of the church.

"In the name of ‘freedom of choice’ [Canada] is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children," the pope said.

He added that laws allowing abortions are the result of "the exclusion of God from the public sphere."

He chided pro-abortion Catholic politicians for yielding to "ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls."

Related web sites:
LifeCanada –