The Poll Archive RSS

abortion
(11/30/06) -

Most Britons Support Access to Abortion

- Many adults in Britain agree with allowing women to terminate a pregnancy if they wish, according to a poll by Ipsos-MORI. 58 per cent of respondents think abortion should be made legally available for all who want it.

- Many adults in Britain agree with allowing women to terminate a pregnancy if they wish, according to a poll by Ipsos-MORI. 58 per cent of respondents think abortion should be made legally available for all who want it.

As far as specific circumstances where abortion would be permitted, more than half of all respondents support terminating a pregnancy if there is evidence that the child would be born with serious physical disabilities or learning difficulties, or if the woman is under 16 years of age. 48 per cent of respondents think any woman who does not wish to have a child should be allowed to terminate her pregnancy.

Since 1967, British women have had the right to an abortion. The procedure can presently take place only in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Any change to existing regulations would be subject to a vote in the House of Commons.

Earlier this month, Conservative parliamentarian Nadine Dorries presented a bill which sought to reduce the legal limit for pregnancy termination in Britain from 24 to 21 weeks, and introduce a 10-day “cooling off” period to allow a woman to think her decision through. The bill was defeated in a 108-187 House of Commons vote.

British women do not have to pay for an abortion if they qualify for the procedure under the terms of the National Health Service (NHS).

Polling Data

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statement? – Abortion should be made legally available for all who want it.

2006

2000

Agree very strongly

14%

20%

Agree strongly

13%

14%

Agree

31%

29%

Neither agree nor disagree

11%

10%

Disagree

16%

12%

Disagree strongly

7%

5%

Disagree very strongly

5%

7%

No opinion

3%

3%

Do you approve of abortion under the following circumstances?

Where there is evidence that the
child would be born with serious
physical disabilities

64%

Where the woman is under 16

60%

Where there is evidence that the
child would be born with serious
learning difficulties that used to be
known as ‘mental handicap’

55%

Where a woman does
not wish to have a child

48%

Source: Ipsos-MORI
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 2,140 British adults, conducted from Apr. 27 to May 2, 2006. No margin of error was provided.