OTTAWA, October 31, 2007 ( – Two-thirds of Canadian women support legal protection for unborn children, according to an Environics poll released last week. A smaller majority of men (57%) support legal protection. Currently in Canada there are no legal restrictions on abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

  More than one-third (34%) of women support legal protection from conception onward, 21% after three months of pregnancy and 12% say babies should be protected after six months. Overall, 62% of Canadians supported legal protection at some point before birth.

  The Focus Canada poll of 2,047 Canadians was conducted between September 17 and October 14, with a margin of error of ±2.2% nineteen times out of twenty.

  The poll also asked about legislation that would make it a separate crime to kill or injure a fetus during a violent attack on a pregnant woman. Seventy-five percent of women and 72% of men said they would support a fetal protection law.

  In the past three years at least five pregnant women have been killed along with their babies in violent attacks. The most recent occurred earlier this month in Toronto.

“Most Canadians support the families of these murdered women who grieve not only for the sudden and violent loss of their daughters and sisters but for the baby whose birth they looked forward to,” said LifeCanada President Joanne Byfield. “Canadians see this as a violent attack on two people, members of a family, and it is outrageous that the law denies the humanity of one of those family members.”

  The poll, the sixth one commissioned by LifeCanada, also found majority support for informed consent legislation for women considering abortion, and parental consent for abortion for girls under 18.

  Environics also asked about tax-funding for abortions. Most of the over 100,000 abortions performed each year in Canada are paid for by taxpayers through the publicly funded system. Almost two-thirds polled said that abortions should be privately funded except in cases of medical emergencies or for rape and incest.

“This week marks the anniversary of the famous ‘Persons’ case which overturned a court decision that found women were not persons,” said LifeCanada President Joanne Byfield.

“Canadian law now says that babies in the womb are not persons until birth. That means that they can be shot, stabbed, kicked and punched with no repercussions. In this poll, Canadians are saying that this is not acceptable. We need a new ‘Persons’ case to end this injustice.”