November 26, 2009 ( – For the ninth year in a row, a majority of Canadians have rejected the status quo on abortion in this country, according to a new poll. Over half of respondents to the poll said there should be legal protection for human life before birth and over two-thirds say abortions should only be paid for by taxpayers in medical emergencies or in cases of rape or incest.

A poll by Environics Research of 2002 Canadians found that only one-third of Canadians agree with the current policy that denies any protection to unborn babies before birth. The majority, 56%, support legal protection at some stage before birth: 30% support legal protection from conception on, 17% after three months of pregnancy and 8% after six months of pregnancy. Once again, support for legal protection from conception on is much higher among women, 35%, than men at 25%.

The disconnect between official policy and the opinions of Canadians is even more stark in the area of abortion funding. Most abortions in Canada, which now total well over 100,000 annually, are paid for by taxpayers through the publicly funded health care system. Yet when asked, 68% of Canadians polled said that abortions should be either privately funded (18%) or only tax-funded in cases of medical emergency “such as a threat to the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest.” Only 26% support tax-funding of all abortions, down from 30% last year.

“With all the financial pressures on our health care system right across this country, it is ludicrous that our governments continue to pay tens of millions of dollars for a procedure which is seldom done for medical reasons,” said pediatrician, Dr. Delores Doherty, president of LifeCanada, which commissioned the poll. “This is especially true when a majority of Canadians think unborn babies should be protected, not destroyed.”

The poll was conducted in October 2009 on 2002 Canadians. The margin of error is 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.