OTTAWA, Ont. Dec. 3, 2008 – A new Environics poll released in late November shows a majority of Canadians want legal protection for the unborn child at some point before birth. This is consistent with survey results over the past seven years.
Canada remains the only country in the developed word with no legal limits on abortion throughout all 9 months of pregnancy. Yet, almost 6 in 10 respondents support legal protection for unborn children at some point before birth. Only 33% support the current situation of protection only after birth. Once again, women polled showed far more support for protection from conception on than men did: 33% versus 24%.
A majority of Canadians support informed consent requirements before an abortion that would be consistent with the informed consent expected and provided before any surgical procedure. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents agree that women considering abortion should be informed of the risks and possible consequences of the abortion procedure.
“The hopelessly inadequate information most women receive before an abortion is appalling,” said Dr. Delores Doherty, president of LifeCanada, the group that commissioned the poll. “Many women who have had abortions feel betrayed by the doctors involved in their abortions and some are considering class action suits.”
The poll also asked how Canadians feel about tax dollars funding a procedure that is predominately performed for social reasons, rather than medical necessity. Only 3 in 10 support the current situation of tax funding for most of the roughly 100,000 abortions performed annually. Half prefer public funding only in cases of medical emergencies and two in 10 think payment should be a private responsibility.
“Despite years of polls consistently showing Canadians want changes in our abortion policy, elected officials in every party continue to ignore the issues or worse, shut down discussion and debate,” said Dr. Doherty. “This is a sad state for a democratic nation. It is past time for our political leaders to acknowledge and take action in line with the expressed will of their constituents. The issue is not going to go away!”
The Focus Canada poll of 2023 Canadians was conducted between September 24 and October 21, 2008. It is considered accurate 19 out of 20 times, with a margin of error of +/-2.2%. LifeCanada, the national educational pro-life body, has commissioned an annual poll on life issues since 2002.