Listening to certain “pro-choice” and pro-abortion voices it would be easy to believe the claim that women in Northern Ireland, just like women across the UK, want abortion for any reason and at any stage of pregnancy, even up to birth.
You might subsequently think that the only problem women in pregnancy crisis are facing is that they can’t have an abortion when they want it. You may even have stopped wondering about the morality of the intentional ending of unborn human life having been reminded often enough that a fetus is no more a child than a ball of wool is a jumper. You’ve possibly felt muzzled from questioning any or all the above because that would suggest that you don’t trust women.
The outcome of the most extensive polling done in Great Britain in a decade was announced yesterday. The polling, carried out by Coms Res, and commissioned by Where do they Stand? Paints a very different picture.
Over 2000 people were asked a range of questions on the issues of support and care services in pregnancy and abortion access. The responses were significant and reveal that most women in England, Wales and Scotland are not happy with the status quo. The results are timely because this year marks fifty years since the 1967 Abortion Act was introduced. Since then over 8 million abortions have been performed, one in three women will have an abortion by age 45 and today for every four children born, one has been aborted.
These results indicate that women want better support for women facing pregnancy crisis; that women want pregnancy crisis counselling independent of the abortion provider; are in favour of a waiting period between a counselling appointment and the abortion procedure; want parental involvement when an underage girl faces an unplanned pregnancy; and the involvement of doctors as a safeguard against coercion. Most women want the upper age limit on abortion reduced and they want equality for girl babies and babies diagnosed with special needs.
In short women want better for women than more abortions. Most women recognise the value in unborn life and that they face pregnancy crises for all sorts of reasons, meaning that they need more from friends, family and society than their tacit trust.
Unlike the rest of GB perhaps we in Northern Ireland have been “cushioned” from the impact of pro-abortion policies and their inevitable outworking which has not led to best care for women and unborn children. So if we believe, regardless of opinion polls, that the lives of unborn children and women deserve protection and recognition in law, together with services and culture that enable life-affirming choices we can say so clearly and without shame. We see and learn from fifty years of wide access to abortion across Great Britain that women there want better.
Most women believe that both lives matter.
ComRes interviewed 2,008 British adults online between 12th and 14th May 2017. Data was weighted to be representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
- Only 1% want the abortion time limit raised to birth
- 70% of women would like the current time limit for abortion to be lowered.
- 59% of women would like the abortion time limit lowered to 16 weeks or lower.
- 65% oppose UK taxpayer money being spent on abortions overseas.
- 93% of women want independent abortion counselling introduced.
- 91% of women want a sex-selective abortion ban.
- 79% of general population want a five-day consideration period before abortion.
- 84% of women want improved pregnancy support for women in crisis.
- 76% of population want introduction of doctors verifying women not coerced.
- 70% of parents want introduction of parental consent for girls 15 and under to get abortions.