Wednesday August 4, 2010

New Poll Confirms Most Canadians Do Not Know Canada Has No Abortion Law

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

TORONTO, August 4, 2010 ( – An Angus Reid public opinion poll published on August 3 confirms the findings of a poll conducted early this year that most Canadians are woefully unaware of the country’s status quo on abortion.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 1,022 Canadian adults, conducted from July 7 to July 8, found that 21 percent of respondents knew that Canada has no restrictions on abortion whatsoever.

In comparison, the poll conducted in January found that only 20% of those responding to the survey were aware that in Canada a woman can have an abortion at any time during her pregnancy, with no restrictions of any kind.

The current poll found 41 percent of Canadians under the impression that abortions are only available to women during the first three months of pregnancy. In January, 43% mistakenly believed this.

Fifteen percent of respondents thought abortions are only allowed in the first trimester and only if the mother’s life is in danger, if she has been the victim or rape, or if the child has serious genetic defects.

A drop in the support for the status quo (no restrictions at any stage of pregnancy), from thirty to twenty-seven percent, was reported.

Twenty-two percent (down from 24%) said they would prefer limiting abortion to the first trimester without restrictions, and then have restrictions on abortion during the last six months of pregnancy to include danger to the mother’s life and in cases of rape or fetal defects.

A one percent increase was noted, from 5 to 6%, in those Canadians who said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.

Again, Canadians were split on the issue of government funding of abortion, with 44 percent supporting funding in all cases (43% in January), and 39 percent supporting funding only in emergency situations (41% in January).

A further increase of two percent (from 28 to 30%) was registered by respondents who believe it is time to re-open the debate on abortion in the country.

Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign
Life Coalition (CLC) stated, “This poll shows the lack of factual knowledge in
Canada which has led to the deaths of more than 3.5 million babies in their mothers’
wombs (approximately 100,000 per year). Some people are unaware that a child in
the womb can be killed by abortion right up until birth. Those who were polled
and were later informed suggested various times when life could be protected.
The reality is that each and every human life is sacred and must be protected
in a civilized nation.”

Joanne McGarry, Executive Director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, commented on the survey, saying that abortion continues to be a moral and religious issue that most people consider serious, and that the results of the poll suggest that it is also an issue where many are uninformed, underlining the importance of further education.

“It’s quite possible so many believe we have an abortion law, and that there are more restrictions after the first trimester, since that is the case in almost all the western world,” McGarry said.

“It may well be that a majority would support such a law, or that it is more difficult to find medical practitioners willing to do abortions as a pregnancy progresses. However, that is not what the law says, and it’s difficult to have meaningful debate about any issue when people do not know the factual situation.”

“These findings are huge,” stated the Association for Reformed Political Action Canada’s (ARPA) Director Mark Penninga in a press release.

“They send a loud a clear signal to our policy makers that Canada’s lack of laws on abortion are out of step with public opinion. How strong do the numbers have to be before our leaders decide to deal with this issue in a principled and honest manner?”

Penninga explained that for over 20 years Canada has not had any laws regulating abortion, setting the country apart from all other nations in the Western world.

“Our leaders need encouragement,” said Penninga. “They need to hear from you that you are looking to them to show leadership on this issue. They can no longer use the argument that society first has to change before they reflect these changes in law.”

“And when they do show a willingness to address the issue, they need support,” Penninga added, referring to the current Private Members Bill titled Roxanne’s Law that was introduced by MP Rod Bruinooge. The law woule make it a crime to coerce a woman to have an abortion.

“Things will change if we each have the courage to stand up for the unborn, and get behind leaders who bravely do the same.”

A summary of the current Angus Reid public opinion poll, with a link to the full text of the report, is available here. (

Contact info for your MP is available here. (,ViewList)

See previous LSN reports:

Poll: Many Canadians Want Restrictions on Abortion

Bill to Ban Coerced Abortion Introduced into Canadian Parliament

Canadian PM Harper Opposes Law Protecting Women from Coercive Abortions