- Societal attitudes towards abortion
Societal attitudes towards abortion have varied throughout different historal periods and
cultures. One manner of assessing such attitudes in the modern era has been to conduct opinion polls to measure levels of public opinionon abortion.
Attitudes by region
South Africa: A 2003 Human Sciences Research Council study examined moral attitudes among South Africans: [Rule, Stephen. (2004). [http://www.hsrc.ac.za/about/HSRCReview/Vol2No3/index.html?rights_or_wrongs.html~content Rights or wrongs? Public attitudes towards moral values] . "HSRC Review, 2 (3)." Retrieved March 25, 2007.]
** 56% said they believed that abortion is wrong even if there is a strong chance of serious defect in the fetus. The breakdown by race was 64% among black people, 23% among white people, 41% among people of mixed race, and 37% among Indian people.
** 70% said they believed that abortion is wrong if done primarily because the parents have low income and may be unable to afford another child. The breakdown by race was 74% among black people, 57% among white people, 57% among people of mixed race, and 59% among Indian people.
Austria: A May 2007 OGM survey examined Austrian opinion on the morality of abortion, asking, "Personally, do you think of abortion as a moral issue?" 20% of those polled replied, "yes, always", 59% replied "yes, under certain circumstances", 19% replied "no, never", and 2% replied that they were "not sure". [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/15961 Abortion Sometimes a Moral Issue, Say Austrians] ." (June 3, 2007). "Angus Reid Global Monitor". Retrieved June 20, 2007.]
Czech Republic: A May 2007 CVVM poll found that 72% believe abortion in the Czech Republicshould be allowed "at the request of the woman", 19% that it should be allowed for "societal reasons", 5% that it should be allowed only if "a woman’s health is at risk", 1% that it should be "banned". [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/16054 Most in Czech Republic Support Abortion Rights] ." (June 10, 2007). "Angus Reid Global Monitor". Retrieved June 20, 2007.]
Republic of Ireland: A September 2005 " Irish Examiner"/Lansdowne poll about abortion in Ireland found that 36% believe it should be legalized while 47% do not. [Connolly, Shaun. (September 22, 2005). " [http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2005/09/22/story788504833.asp Under-35s largely in favour of legalising abortion] ." "Irish Examiner." Retrieved February 12, 2007.]
United Kingdom: An August 2005 YouGov/" Daily Telegraph" poll about abortion in the U.K. found that 30% of Britons would back a measure to reduce the legal limit for abortion to 20 weeks, 25% support maintaining the current limit of 24 weeks, 19% support a limit of 12 weeks, 9% support a limit of less than 12 weeks, and 6% responded that abortion should never be allowed while 2% said it should be permitted throughout pregnancy. [YouGov. (July 30, 2005). [http://www.yougov.com/archives/pdf/TEL050101042_1.pdf YouGov/Daily Telegraph Survey Results] . Retrieved January 11, 2006.]
2005 poll of ten countries
A May 2005
Euro RSCG/TNS Sofres poll examined attitudes toward abortion in 10 European countries, asking polltakers whether they agreed with the statement, "If a woman doesn't want children, she should be able to have an abortion".cite web
accessdate=2007-06-17( [http://www.thebrusselsconnection.be/tbc/?page=detail&id=143&cat=49 associated article] )] Results were as follows:
North & Central America
Canada: A December 2001 Gallup poll about abortion in Canada, asked, "Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances or illegal in all circumstances and in what circumstances?" 32% responded that they believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, 52% that it should be legal in certain circumstances, and 14% that it should be legal in no circumstances.
Mexico: A November 2005 IMO poll about abortion in Mexico found that 73.4% think abortion should not be legalized while 11.2% think it should. [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/10042 Mexicans Support Status Quo on Social Issues] ." (December 1, 2005). "Angus Reid Global Monitor." Retrieved January 10, 2006.]
Nicaragua: An August-September 2006 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll on the legality of abortion to save a woman's life found that 20% of respondents felt strongly that it should be "legal", 49% felt somewhat that it should be "legal", 18% felt strongly that it should be "illegal", and 10% felt somewhat that it should be "illegal". [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/13998 Nicaraguans Favour Abortion in Some Cases] ." (December 4, 2006). "Angus Reid Global Monitor." Retrieved January 10, 2006.]
Panama: A May 2005 Dichter & Neira/"La Prensa" poll found that 89.4% disagreed with abortion and 8.3% agreed. [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/7331 Panamanians Reject Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage] ." (May 23, 2005). "Angus Reid Global Monitor." Retrieved January 10, 2006.]
United States: A February 2007 CBS Newspoll about abortion in the U.S. asked, "What is your personal feeling about abortion?", and 30% said that it should be "permitted only in cases such as rape, incest or to save the woman's life", 31% said that abortion should be "permitted in all cases", 16% that it should be "permitted, but subject to greater restrictions than it is now", 12% said that it should "only be permitted to save the woman's life", and 5% said that it should "never" be permitted. [ [http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm The Polling Report] . (2006). Retrieved January 11, 2006.]
Oceania & Australasia
Australia: In a February 2005 ACNielsenpoll about abortion in Australia, as reported in " The Age", 56% thought the current abortion laws, which generally allow abortion for the sake of life or health, were "about right", 16% want changes in law to make abortion "more accessible", and 17% want changes to make it "less accessible." [Grattan, Michelle. (February 16, 2005). " [http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Poll-backs-abortion-laws/2005/02/15/1108230007300.html Poll backs abortion laws] ." "The Age." Retrieved January 11, 2006.]
*A 2006 poll, conducted by Roy Morgan Research, asked, "Do you approve of the termination of unwanted pregnancies through surgical abortion?" 65% of the Australians polled stated that they approved of surgical abortion and 22% stated that they disapproved of it
Argentina: A December 2003 Graciela Romer y Asociados survey found that 30% thought that abortion in Argentinashould be allowed "regardless of situation", 47% that it should be allowed "under some circumstances", and 23% that it should not be allowed "regardless of situation". [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/2029 Argentines Assess Abortion Changes] ." (March 4, 2004). "Angus Reid Global Monitor". Retrieved January 10, 2006.]
Brazil: A March 2007 Datafolha/" Folha de Sao Paulo" poll found that 65% believe that their country's current law — which allows abortion in cases of rape or endangerment to life — "should not be modified", 16% that it should be expanded "to allow abortion in other cases", 10% that abortion should be "decriminalized", and 5% were "not sure". [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/15370 Brazilians Want to Keep Abortion as Crime] ." (April 12, 2007). "Angus Reid Global Monitor". Retrieved June 20, 2007.]
Chile: A July 2006 MORIsurvey found that 26% believe that abortion is "justified" while 74% believe that it is not. [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/13346 Chileans Slowly Becoming More Liberal] . (October 2, 2006). "Angus Reid Global Monitor". Retrieved January 10, 2006.]
Colombia: A July 2005 YanHaas/Radio RCN poll found that 65.6% said they thought that abortion should remain illegal, 26.9% that it should be made legal, and 7.5% that they were unsure. [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/8333 Colombians Reject Legalizing Abortion] . (August 2, 2005). "Angus Reid Global Monitor". Retrieved January 10, 2006.]
Uruguay: A May 2007 Factum/"El Espectador" survey asked Uruguayans about a law under debate in their country's Senate, which would legalize abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, finding that 61% support the law, 27% oppose the law, and 12% are unsure about it. [" [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/15939 Uruguayans Support Legalizing Abortion] . (June 1, 2007). "Angus Reid Global Monitor". Retrieved June 20, 2007.]
Attitudes by religion
October 2006 Pew Research Centersurvey of moral opinion among Christians in 10 countries asked "... [Do] you think abortion can always be justified, sometimes be justified, or never be justified?" [The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. (October 5, 2006). [http://pewforum.org/surveys/pentecostal/ Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals] . Retrieved February 13, 2007.]
The poll also asked respondents whether they agreed with the statement, "The government should not interfere with a woman’s ability to have an abortion".
* [http://www.abortionpolls.com Public Opinion Polls on Abortion]
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