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Help CCBR expose the truth about abortion: LifeFunder

(LifeSiteNews) — Each year, my colleagues at the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform speak to thousands of young people about abortion across Canada on campuses, at high schools, and on the streets. As I write this, dozens of young interns in both East and West are engaging the public.

Time and again, we find that young people are far more open to becoming pro-life than older people. Both internal polling as well as anecdotal experience indicates that the generations who grew up with “pro-choice” as their default setting are open to being presented with facts that prove they’ve been lied to.

A recent Ipsos poll by Global News published recently confirms the experience of many pro-life activists. According to the poll, 56% of Canadians support abortion access “whenever it’s wanted.” According to Sanyam Sethi, vice-president of public affairs, this is an increase since 2010. However, this does not hold for Canadians between the ages of 18 to 35, who “showed the least support in comparison with older generations,” which Sethi called “a very rare issue.” According to Ipsos:

Compared with the 63 per cent of Canadians 55 and over who believe people should be permitted to have an abortion whenever wanted, only 50 per cent of those 18 to 34 believe the same. A total of 15 per cent of respondents 18 to 34 also believe abortion shouldn’t be permitted unless the mother’s life is in danger. These findings aren’t only limited to Canada either, according to Sethi, who noted the trend is also upheld globally.

The other numbers presented by Ipsos are interesting but lack context. For example, Ipsos says that 61% of Canadians say that things should be left the way they are—but pro-lifers have found going door to door (and polling confirms this) that over 80% of Canadians have no idea what the status quo is. This is why the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada worked so hard to remove cross-Canada billboards which simply said “Canada has no abortion laws” — because the vast majority of Canadians don’t know that. Pollsters are polling people’s support on a status quo they are unaware of.

Ipsos found that in Atlantic Canada only 42% think abortion should be available on demand for any reason (as it is), with support rising to 63% in Alberta, 61% in BC, and 54% in Ontario (again, a majority of those polled would have been unaware that abortion is legal until birth.) Twenty-five percent told Ipsos they want the abortion debate reopened.

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Abortion polling in Canada is notoriously difficult to analyze because as with most data, the answers depend nearly entirely on the questions you ask. Polls conducted by the National Post on whether gender selection abortion should be legal, for example, revealed that 84% thought it should be banned—which is substantially higher than a quarter of Canadians.

Asking generic questions about abortion produces generic support in a country where ignorance is largely prevalent on what Canada’s regime is and does; asking specific questions on support for certain types of abortion and abortion at later stages consistently produces different answers. Polls are often conducted to shape public opinion rather than reveal it.

I’d like to make one final observation on abortion polling in Canada based on my experience doing activism and going door to door, especially in the Greater Toronto Area: most immigrant Canadians are instinctively if not intellectually anti-abortion, and very few of them recognize the terms “pro-life” or “pro-choice.”

Much of the polling I’ve seen over the past decade uses terminology and asks questions that frame a debate in very English terms, whereas we’ve canvassed neighborhoods were 90% of those we spoke to were at least mostly pro-life, but none of them had heard the terms before.

Once you explain what abortion actually is, most of them are horrified to discover what goes on in Canada. Those people — and there are millions of them — simply do not show up in the polling we are presented with from mainstream media. Many do not speak English.

Thus, the reality on the ground is far more complex than the Canadian media — or our politicians — would have us believe. The majority of Canadians are closer to a pro-lifer’s position than to Justin Trudeau’s extremism, although by no means are the majority of Canadians pro-life. There is much work to do — but there are also far more pro-lifers than you might imagine.

Help CCBR expose the truth about abortion: LifeFunder
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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.

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