Canada Poll Shows Support for Legalized Abortions But Also Some Limits

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Poll Shows Support for Legalized Abortions But Also Some Limits

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 23
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — A new poll of Canadians finds support for legalized abortions but also for some pro-life limits such as parental notification or limits on taxpayer funded abortions.

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 Morgentaler filed that Canada’s abortion law was unconstitutional.

Abortion is now legal in Canada with no limitation on when to perform it.

The Canadian polling firm Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online poll with 1,003 Canadian adults on June 3 and 4 and asked: "Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?"

The survey found 65 percent of Canadians generally take a pro-abortion position while 34 percent are pro-life and want abortions disallowed.

The poll found 46 percent said abortion should be permitted in all cases while 19 percent said abortion should be permitted, but subject to greater restrictions than it is now.

On the pro-life side, 22 percent said abortion should be permitted only in cases such as rape, incest and to save the woman’s life, another 7 percent said abortion should only be allowed to save the mother’s life and 5 percent said all abortions should be illegal.

Looking at the poll another way, 55 percent of Canadians want more restrictions on abortion while 46 percent do not.

Breaking down the abortion opinion by region, residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan were the most pro-life (51 percent pro-life) followed by the Atlantic provinces (42 percent) while resident of Quebec (70 percent), British Columbia (69 percent), and Ontario (66 percent) were the most pro-abortion.

Women and men were evenly split in favor of abortion, younger Canadians were more pro-abortion than older residents (unlike polls in the United States), and lower income Canadians are more pro-life than wealthy residents.

The Angus Reid Strategies also found that only 43% say the health care system should fund abortions whenever they are requested. Another 44 percent said funding should only come in cases of medical emergencies.

Meanwhile, another 53% want women under the age of 18 to have parental consent in order to have an abortion. Just 36 percent said that shouldn’t be required and residents of all provinces had a majority in favor of parental consent.

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