South Africa Residents Strongly Oppose Abortion New Poll Shows

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 9, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Africa Residents Strongly Oppose Abortion New Poll Shows Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 9
, 2008

Pretoria, South Afrifca ( — A new poll of South Africans finds a strong majority of the residents of the nation oppose abortion and don’t believe it should be used for social reasons. The results come despite the fact abortion has been legal for 12 years and that more than half a million abortions have been done in that time.

The Human Sciences Research Council released the poll on Wednesday and and found approximately 90 percent of South Africans say abortion is wrong.

The research group said South Africans believe abortion is wrong in cases when a family can’t afford another child and even when there is a chance the baby could be born mentally or physically disabled.

According to an iAfrica report on the poll, race wasn’t much of a factor in determining attitude on abortion, although black South Africans were much less likely to support abortion than their Indian or white counterparts.

The polling firm, also found levels of education and church attendance were factors in abortion attitude with churchgoers more likely to oppose abortion and those with higher education levels more likely to support it.

South Africa introduced new abortion laws in 1997 and the pro-abortion group Ipas says that, since then, 526,123 abortions have been done.

And 256,808 of the abortions happened in the last three years, showing the number of abortions is on the rise.

South Africa is out of step with most African nations as the cultural and religious beliefs of many African nations lead them to oppose abortions.

A previous poll the Pew Research firm conducted in October 2006 showed residents of African nations were extremely pro-life.

The poll asked respondents whether they believed abortion was always justified, sometimes justified, or never justified.

People living in Kenya broke down into a 0/11/88 percentage split on those categories, Nigeria citizens opposed abortion by a 1/4/94 percentage margin and South African residents opposed abortion on a 8/16/73 percentage split.

Pew also asked residents of each of the nations a biased question about whether "the government should not interfere with a woman’s ability to have an abortion."

Citizens of Kenya were most likely to say they disagree with the statement while residents of South Africa were about evenly split.