VANCOUVER, British Columbia, 4 February, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Angus Reid poll has confirmed that most Canadians are ignorant about abortion law in Canada, with many mistakenly believing that there are strict laws in place to govern the deadly procedure.
While the poll found that 59% of Canadians believe there is “no point in re-opening a debate about abortion in Canada right now”, the poll also found that 58% of Canadians mistakenly believe the country restricts abortion to the first trimester. An additional 7% believed abortion is only legal in cases of rape, danger to the mother's life, or if her unborn child has serious defects.
When asked under what circumstances they believed abortion should be allowed, 59% supported some form of restriction. Only 35% supported the status quo of no restrictions whatsoever.
The poll also found that 42% of respondents believe abortion should be funded only in cases of medical emergency, and another 7% said abortion should never be publicly funded.
The poll was conducted last month in the form of an online survey among 1,009 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.
Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, responded to the poll saying simply, “if the unborn could be polled, then 100% of them would want the debate opened.”
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Mario Canseco, vice president of the Angus Reid Public Opinion, called it “very interesting” that “more than two-in-five Canadians assume that Roe v. Wade applies here in Canada (first trimester, no restrictions).”
While the United States Supreme Court struck down all state restrictions on abortion in the first two trimesters with Roe v. Wade in 1973, Doe v. Bolton, decided on the same day, effectively extended the right to abort through all nine months of pregnancy.
In Canada, the 1988 Morgentaler Decision struck down the few remaining protections still afforded to unborn babies by the 1969 Liberal government’s “Omnibus Bill,” which already permitted abortion under permissive circumstances. The Morgentaler Decision meant that a pregnant woman could legally terminate the life of her unborn child during all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason whatsoever. No ‘right’ to abortion was ever established.
Hughes said that the majority of Canadians “don’t know that abortions can be committed right up until the time when a child comes out of the womb” and that abortion procedures across the country are paid for by tax dollars.
“This poll, like so many others, reveals the lack of knowledge and understanding that the average person has about the abortion issue. It just shows the educational battle that has to take place to inform people as to what’s happening,” he said.
With files from Patrick Craine