Patrick Craine


60% of Canadians want law on sex-selective abortion: poll

Patrick Craine

OTTAWA, Ontario, January 26, 2012 ( – After a media frenzy over sex-selective abortion was sparked by a recent editorial in a Canadian medical journal on the topic, a new poll shows that 60% of Canadians believe Ottawa should enact a law outlining whether a woman can abort her child based solely on his or her gender.

At the same time, a majority (51%) believe there should be laws dealing with abortion in Canada, an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll released Thursday found.

The Supreme Court of Canada overturned Canada’s abortion law in the 1988 R. v. Morgentaler decision, leaving a legal vacuum on abortion that Parliament has still failed to address.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents told Angus Reid that they oppose any law on abortion, and that “a woman should have the unrestricted right to have an abortion at any time up to the moment of birth.”

Sixty-six percent of women called for a law on sex-selection, compared to 54% of men.

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The poll, conducted online Jan. 19-20, comes after a controversy was sparked on Jan. 16th when Dr. Rajendra Kale, then-editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, called for Canada to combat the practice in the Asian immigrant population. He called for prohibiting health professionals from disclosing a child’s sex until 30 weeks gestation, when, he said, “an unquestioned abortion is all but impossible.”

An Environics poll in October found that only 20% of Canadians support the current policy in Canada of no protection for human life until birth. In that poll, commissioned by the national educational group LifeCanada, 72% said they wanted protection for the unborn at some point before birth, with 28% saying protections should be applied from the moment of conception.

Stephen Harper’s majority Conservative government has insisted they will not re-open the abortion debate.

Angus Reid surveyed 1,001 Canadian adults, with a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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