50 Years Later - A survey on abortion in Canada

Press Release: NEW National Poll on Abortion

After 50 Years, Canadians Remain Unconvinced on Unrestricted Abortion

Fifty years ago this month, the federal government legalized abortion in Canada, a controversial decision in 1969. Currently there are no legal restrictions on abortion at any time during a pregnancy. A recent poll by Public Square Research has found that despite 50 years of abortion advocacy, a majority of Canadians still have serious reservations about the radical policy. 

  • Only 2% of Canadians support sex selection abortions (which are legal and usually target girl babies).
  • Only 8% of Canadians support late abortions after 6 months of pregnancy.
  • Only16% (less than 2 in 10 Canadians) said all abortions are acceptable, no matter what the reason, which is the current policy in Canada.
  • Only 20% find abortion acceptable after 3 months, whereas the status quo allows abortion throughout all nine months.
  • Only 11% find abortion acceptable if the baby interferes with the woman’s future plans, but this is often the justification for abortion.
  • Only 4% find abortion acceptable when a woman has already had previous abortions

The poll was conducted in the last week of April 2019 and released this week by LifeCanada, an educational pro-life group, just ahead of the national March for Life.

“We commissioned the poll to see what 50 years of abortion has achieved,” says Natalie Sonnen, executive director of LifeCanada. “Considering all the that the media and all levels of government have done for the past half-century to justify and promote abortion as a pro-woman policy, the vast majority of Canadians, women and men, are unconvinced. Most Canadians have grave reservations about when, why and how abortions are performed. Simply put, Canadians don’t celebrate it.”

In fact, a May 2018 poll by the Angus Reid Institute found that women were more supportive than men on restricting abortions. Almost two-thirds (64%) of women supported some legal restrictions on abortion versus 56% of men. Overall, in that poll, 61% of those polled supported legal restrictions on abortion.

In the 50 years since abortion has been legalized, these stats have not changed. Mike Schouten, director of We Need a Law, an advocacy organization that mobilizes Canadians and politicians to pass laws that protect children before birth says, "not only is our public policy out of line with public opinion, Canada's lack of an abortion legal framework is distinct in that we are the only country in the world without one." 

Schouten says that, "As Canadians become aware of our lack of abortion regulations, they are rightly disturbed. It's time for politicians to stop viewing pre-born children as a political liability and instead lead our country in a national conversation about how to protect fetal rights while at the same time respecting women's rights." 

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.

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For media comment please contact Natalie Sonnen at 604-442-4867 or Mike Schouten at 778-321-2457