OTTAWA, Ontario, May 12, 2011 ( – As Canadian pro-lifers prepare to march for life in the country’s capital Thursday, a new poll is showing that 59% of Canadians want some restrictions on abortion.

Perhaps even more shocking, the poll found more than one quarter of Canadians (27%) want protection for the unborn from conception onwards.  At the same time, only 8% supported an outright ban on abortion.

The poll is further confirmation that Canadians are displeased with Canada’s lack of any law on abortion and the current status quo of fully state-funded abortion-on-demand.

“Politicians are out of touch with Canadian sentiment,” Andrea Mrozek, manager of research at the Institute for Marriage and Family, told Sun News, who commissioned the Abacus Data poll in advance of the National March for Life in Ottawa Thursday.

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper has insisted that his new Conservative majority government will move to shut down any debate on abortion, fifty-two percent of respondents said the country should not fear an open debate on abortion, and only 26% wanted the issue left alone.

More than half of respondents opposed the current full public funding for abortion.  Twenty percent said it should be funded by the woman, 22% said it should only funded in extreme circumstances, and a further 7% said abortion should not be allowed at all.  Only 45% of respondents wanted abortion fully funded by the public health system.

Asked about their views on abortion, fifty-two percent said they support a women’s “right to make choices about their body.”  Seventeen percent supported abortion only in extreme circumstances, 18% opposed abortion but said they recognized the right of individuals to choose for themselves, and 8% said abortion should be illegal.

The poll revealed a clear divide between Conservative supporters and NDP supporters, further evidence of the polarization of Canada’s Parliament coming out of last week’s election.  Almost no NDP supporter would make abortion illegal, while 15% of Conservatives believe it should be.  Only one third of Conservative supporters favor public funding, compared to over half of NDP supporters.

Atlantic Canadians were the most likely to want protection for the unborn from conception, with over 40%, compared to 27% in Alberta and Ontario.  The pollster also noted a generational divide, with 20% of those aged 18-29 believing the unborn should be protected from conception compared to 39% for those 60 and older.

The polling firm surveyed 1,007 adult Canadians on April 28 and 29.