SYDNEY, November 23, 2004 ( – Australians are currently almost twice as likely to approve of abortion as compared to the results of a similar survey conducted only 14 years earlier, according to a 2001 report released Tuesday.

Fifty-eight percent of Australians in 2001 said abortion should be readily accessible to women, versus only 39 percent in 1987, according to an Australian Institute of Family Studies report: Diversity and Change in Australian Families.  The increased support for access to abortion was noticed equally between women and men, whereas support dwindled with rising age of those surveyed.  “Almost 70 per cent supported abortion if there was a serious defect in the baby but only 42 per cent supported abortion in the case of a woman wanting the abortion because of the low income of her family,” the report said, according to Australia’s  The report release coincides with debate in the Australian parliament over whether increased restrictions should be placed on access to late-term abortions, or a restriction of Medicaid funding for abortion should occur. Prime Minister John Howard, however, emphasized last week that there would be no cabinet debate on the abortion issue.

See the related report:  Australian Prime Minister Howard Says No Debate on Abortion Restrictions   tv