Third poll says public oppose abortion decriminalisation

9 November 2017

After 50 years of abortion, the public is less keen on "liberalising" it than decriminalisation advocates claim.

Why do pro-abortion MPs keep claiming otherwise?

A new opinion poll by ComRes has revealed that a large majority of the public oppose decriminalising abortion. A total of 72 per cent of 2,000 adults interviewed for the survey wanted abortion to remain as part of a legal framework, with the existing requirement of the consent of two doctors and an upper time limit of at least 24 weeks to remain in place.

Despite constant claims by the abortion industry and their allies in Parliament that the public favours "liberalising" abortion, this is the third poll in six months indicating that a majority opposes removing it from the criminal law. In May, another ComRes poll found that only 1% favoured increasing the limit up until birth, and that women in particular supported more restrictions than there are at present. 

Consistent findings

The findings were consistent with an ICM poll conducted for the recent BBC Abortion on Trial programme with Ann Robinson. It found that more of the public (39%) favour keeping abortion within the criminal law than those advocating decriminalisation (34%), although this finding was omitted from the programme. Only a very small minority supported allowing abortion for any reason - for example, just four per cent were in favour of allowing an abortion if a woman felt that continuing with the pregnancy would get in the way of an educational or employment opportunity.

Out of touch

The new ComRes poll was commissioned by Christian Action Research and Education (CARE). Chief executive Nola Leach said: "This polling very clearly demonstrates that the public does not want the practice of abortion to operate outside of a legal framework, emphasising that calls for abortion to be decriminalised are completely at odds with the views of the everyday British public.

"There is clearly still a mainstream view in society that abortion needs to be governed within a legal framework...It is abundantly clear that the majority of the Great British public are not behind calls for abortion to be decriminalised."

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