QUEENSLAND, Australia, November 29, 2010 ( – The Australian Family Association (AFA) and the pro-abortion lobby group GetUp are engaged in a battle over whose poll of abortion attitudes in the state of Queensland truly represents the opinion of the people.

In October the AFA published statistics, obtained through a survey conducted on October 15-17 by independent market research firm Galaxy Research, indicating that 50% of Queensland’s population are against decriminalization of abortion, with 48% in favor.

Cherish Life Queensland (CLQ) president Teresa Martin drew on these statistics to formulate a letter for pro-life supporters to send to their MPs, in light of the possibility that a private member’s bill to decriminalize abortion may soon be introduced in the Queensland Parliament.

“There is no consensus among Queensland voters to change the law on abortion, with 50 per cent of the public opposed to decriminalization and only 48 per cent wanting decriminalization,” Ms Martin wrote in the letter to the parliamentarians.

Subsequently, GetUp published its own poll statistics, which they said found that 72% would like to see abortion decriminalized.

AFA spokesman Luke McCormack responded, however, that the four-question opinion poll released by GetUp was flawed because “it just skims the surface of the issue.”

McCormack explained that “in contrast, a comprehensive 13-question Galaxy poll commissioned last month by the AFA … drilled down to find out what the Queensland public really believes about this complicated issue.”

“It is also of interest to note that GetUp has not released its questionnaire so the objectivity of its survey cannot be determined, whereas the full questionnaire for the AFA poll is a matter of public record,” McCormack said.

Both sides are suggesting that their poll indicates the likelihood of an electoral backlash, unless legislators take their position.

“We’re asking MPs to step up and get rid of the law that makes abortion a crime, and we’re telling them Queenslanders will remember this next election,” Oliver MacColl, the Campaign Director for GetUp, told the media.

However, the AFA has numbers to back up their claim. The Galaxy research poll found that MPs who voted to decriminalize abortion would face a potential swing of up to 12% against them at the next state election (26% swing against versus 14% swing towards).

The Cherish Life letter to MPs notes that the current law is a defense for doctors and nurses who refuse to co-operate in the unjustifiable killing of human offspring. The Galaxy survey found that “86 per cent of Queenslanders support conscientious objection for doctors and nurses with regard to abortion.”

“Voters of Queensland are quite cautious about abortion and worried about its negative effects,” said an AFA release about the Galaxy poll. “But support was strong for the introduction of safeguards for women such as independent counselling, cooling-off periods and parental consent – as well as conscientious objection provisions for doctors and nurses.”

The poll also found that 77% of Queensland voters believe that abortion can harm the mental and physical health of a woman. When asked “up to what stage of pregnancy would you allow abortion,” 29% of Queensland voters said “not at all” and 45% said only in the first three months. However, support for abortion even in the first three months is qualified, with 49% of Queensland voters opposed to abortion for non-medical, that is financial or social, reasons.

The full text AFA poll, entitled “What Queenslanders Really Think About Abortion,” can be found here.

To join the AFA campaign to defend the legal protection for unborn Queenslanders, please go the AFA campaign page here.

Cherish Life Queensland’s campaign to email letters in support of life to local MPs is available here.