Poll: Canadians Unaware of Unlimited Abortion, Want Women Given Risk Info

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 12, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll: Canadians Unaware of Unlimited Abortion, Want Women Given Risk Info

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 12
, 2009

Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — Polls routinely show Canadians are more pro-abortion than their American counterparts, but a new survey helps explain why. Canadians may become more aware of caducity of human life if they understood that abortion is allowed nationwide for any reason throughout pregnancy.

A new poll by the Angus Reid polling firm has found that a vast majority of Canadians do not know, under the country’s current legal situation, that abortion is permitted at any time from conception up to the moment of birth.

The poll found 92 percent of the respondents did not know that is the case.

The Angus Ried poll also found virtually everyone polled wanted information about abortion’s risks and dangers to be readily available to women contemplating abortion.

It found 95 percent said information should be given about the psychological fallout women face from abortions and 96 percent want information distributed about the physical and medical complications abortions produce.

Yvonne Douma, the director of the group Signal Hill, a human rights organization that educates about bioethics issues like abortion, talked about the results of the poll it sponsored.

"Canadian women have a right to know," she said about the potential risks and dangers. "Informed consent is vital to making good choices, and we do not see women getting all the information they need when making these life-changing decisions."

The poll also found that an overwhelming number of respondents did not
support a woman’s right to an abortion for a sex-selection abortion — a practice Douma says is legal in Canada. Only six percent supported allowing women to have an abortion in such cases.

"Society recognizes that choice is not an absolute," said Douma. "Some
choices cannot be supported as is evident with gender selection abortions."

Canada followed the United States by 15 years in allowing abortions to be done across the nation without any major restrictions when, in January 1988, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled Canada’s abortion law was unconstitutional and allowed them to be done with even fewer limits than in the U.S.

Despite pleas from pro-life advocates, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he doesn’t want to re-open the abortion debate in parliament.

Canada experienced fewer abortions in 2005 according to its most recent national figures. Overall, Statistics Canada indicates abortions lowered to 96,815 during that year, a decline of 3.2 percent from the 100,039 in 2004.

In 2002, there were 105,154 abortions in Canada compared with a figure of 106,270 in 2001. The number of abortions in Canada peaked in 1997 at 112,000.

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