Ninety-two percent of Canadians want to see more help for pregnant women who feel pressured to abort, according to a new poll from Public Square Research. In addition, 80% say they would like doctors to verify, in person, that a woman seeking an abortion is not under pressure to abort.

The poll was conducted in the last week of April 2019 and released this week by LifeCanada, an educational pro-life group, following the anniversary of the 1969 omnibus bill that legalized abortion, 50 years ago. 

A study published in 2018 in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that nearly three-quarters (73.8%) of the post-abortive women surveyed admitted that they were pressured to terminate their pregnancies. Over 50% said the pressure was great enough to significantly influence their decision.

Abortion is celebrated as giving ‘reproductive choice’ to women, but the unspoken truth is that many women are pressured to abort by significant people in their lives.  
“This is a serious issue that receives little or no media attention, because it flies in the face of the rhetoric of choice,” says Natalie Sonnen, executive director of LifeCanada. “A woman who feels pressured at an extremely challenging time cannot be said to have made a free choice. This is a serious issue and Canadians overwhelmingly support women who want their babies.”

Those who work in pregnancy support services agree. Samantha Williams, executive director of ALIES, a pregnancy support centre, knows first-hand how women are pressured.  “The women who come here have usually never thought of the options of parenting or making an adoption plan as realistic. No one in their immediate circle supports any other options than abortion. How is this ‘choice’?” 
The poll also found that most Canadians do not support Canada’s current abortion policy which places no legal restrictions on abortion. Only 2% of Canadians support gender selection abortions, which usually target girls. This is consistent with previous polling data.
Only 8% of Canadians support late abortions after 6 months of pregnancy, also consistent with previous polling, and only 16% (fewer than 2 in 10 Canadians) said all abortions are acceptable, no matter what the reason, which is the current policy in Canada.

The data show that there is almost no statistically significant difference between men and women’s views on these questions.

The poll was conducted by Public Square Research, using on-line sources from the Maru Voice Panel. There were 1515 respondents.

LifeCanada was established in 2000 to operate as a national association of local and provincial educational pro-life groups across Canada in order to promote the value of human life, to serve our members, and to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society.