OTTAWA, May 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A majority of Canadians believe the Justin Trudeau Liberal government’s summer job abortion attestation is “unfair,” a Knights of Columbus survey has found.
And while most — including Catholics — identify as “pro-choice,” two out of three Canadians believe abortion should be restricted after the first three months of pregnancy.
The poll was commissioned by the Connecticut-based International Headquarters and Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus and released the day before Canada’s March for Life in Ottawa.
It surveyed 1,837 Canadian respondents online in English and French on attitudes to abortion, and particularly the new Liberal policy requiring Canada Summer Job applicants sign an attestation supporting abortion and gender identity “rights.”
Of the poll’s respondents, 51 percent believe the Liberal summer job abortion attestation requirement is “unfair.” Twenty-three percent are not sure, and 27 percent believe it is fair.
Among Catholic respondents, 56 percent believe the requirement is unfair.
Forty-seven percent of Canadians believe the requirement is discriminatory towards pro-life people or organizations, while 27 percent are not sure, and 26 percent believe the attestation is not discriminatory.
And 43 percent believe the requirement violates Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Twenty-nine percent aren’t sure, and 28 percent believe it doesn’t violate the Charter.
'Distressing': Most Catholics don't even know about new pro-abortion requirement
While the attestation provoked a backlash of protest from faith leaders, 66 percent of poll respondents said they were unaware of the new requirement — a figure that rose to 68 percent among Catholics.
State deputy for Ontario Knights of Columbus Dan Heffernan says the poll “follows the efforts of the Ontario Knights of Columbus to bring attention” to the controversial Liberal policy.
“The requirement for the attestation in favour of abortion rights and sexual claims which are not in keeping with Church teaching could never be supported by faithful Catholics,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Indeed, representatives of Ontario’s 57,000 Knights voted unanimously to oppose the attestation at their April 21 convention, said Heffernan.
Ontario Knights also unanimously passed a resolution at the convention opposing “the recently enacted bubble zone law passed by the Ontario legislature, restricting prayer, protest, or counselling in the vicinity of abortion clinics or other health institutions,” he added.
The March for Life on Thursday is “a further effort to bring attention and awareness to these issues” and is supported by Knights and their families across Canada, he said. “Our voice will only continue to get louder going forward.”
The poll’s “distressing finding” that 66 percent of respondents didn’t know about the attestation shows there’s a need to “shed light” on the Liberal government’s “oppressive viewpoint,” says Phil Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League.
The poll “confirms the inclinations of Canadians from all walks of life that the demands of the federal government to force compliance with its oppressive demand for abortion absolutism and sexual politics ignores basic constitutional freedoms,” he told LifeSiteNews in an email.
The Trudeau government “remains adamant in ignoring the message. We disagree. We dissent. And forcing applicants to ‘just check the box’ is a callous infringement of our rights to oppose government policy,” said Horgan.
Trudeau came under fire recently for defending a Canada Summer Job grant to an environmental lobby group on the grounds that the Liberals support free speech and advocacy.
“Dissent is allowed when it comes to summer job funding if your group is opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, otherwise supported by the federal government,” observed Horgan.
“But your soup kitchen, or summer camp, or small business is not allowed to maintain opposition to the unfettered abortion licence which exists in Canada if you seek summer job grants,” he added.
“The real effects arising from the government position will be felt by the clients such entities used to serve, but can no longer do so.”
The Knights of Columbus poll also found that two in three Canadians believe “abortion should be restricted to at least the first three months of pregnancy.”
That is true “even pro-choice respondents, 52 percent of whom support restricting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy or only in special circumstances,” it stated.
This contrasts starkly to the Trudeau Liberal view of abortion, as Horgan pointed out.
“The March for Life will assist in raising awareness of the reality of the extreme view of this federal government – who wish to be seen as abortion absolutists – despite majority support on addressing the lack of any law on abortion, let alone contravening cherished freedoms to hold a differing point of view,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“Add to this oppression the newly introduced limits on prayer, protest, or counselling enforced by bubble zone laws in many provinces, most recently enacted in Ontario, and just introduced in Alberta,” Horgan noted.
“There is a serious confluence of oppression on expressing points of view, which is unacceptable in a free democracy. We will continue to dissent.”
According to the Knights of Columbus survey, 62 percent of Canadians identify as “pro-choice,” 22 percent as pro-life, and 16 percent are not sure.
As for Catholic respondents, 53 identified as “pro-choice,” 26 percent as pro-life, and 21 percent were not sure.
The poll was conducted between April 13 and May 1, and has a margin of error of 2.18 percent. For the full results, go here.