Survey of New Brunswickers Does Not Support Abortion Policy

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Most New Brunswickers do not endorse the province’s new abortion policy introduced by the Liberal government. That’s the finding of a Corporate Research Associates poll carried out Feb. 12-March 2.

The survey found that while a clear majority of New Brunswickers support the funding of abortions by their provincial government, only a small minority support the unrestricted funding of abortions.

The poll was commissioned by NB Right to Life. Executive director Peter Ryan says the association wanted to see if public opinion had changed following the change in government policy. On January 1 the province overhauled a Medicare regulation so as to fund hospital abortions without restriction.

“Opinion has really not shifted appreciably,” he said. “Most people – 71% - continue to oppose tax-funded abortion on demand, even though that effectively is what the new policy allows for.” He noted the number virtually mirrors the findings of a 2011 Environics poll of Atlantic residents.

In the survey only 24% said “tax dollars should be used to pay for an abortion for any unwanted pregnancy.” Of the 71% who took a different view, the largest number - 53% - expressing support for public funding “only in medical emergencies such as a threat to the mother’s life or in case of rape or incest.” Another 15% said paying for an abortion “should be the responsibility of the individual,” while 3% “do not believe abortion should be available under any circumstances.”

The poll found that among women 75% were against funding every abortion, versus 67% of men. Ryan said that suggests women may be more pro-life than men. “If so, it would be contrary to the stereotype many people have of women being less pro-life.” He acknowledged the poll’s margin of error for sub-groups, such as men and women, is higher than for the total sample of 401 residents, which has a 4.9% margin 95 times out of 100.

Ryan said the survey results suggest the Liberal government was not voted in last fall because of the popularity of its proposed abortion policy. “Other factors drove election results, in my view.”

He says that his association’s role is to try to “speak truth to power.” Our message to the government is, “Listen to the people of New Brunswick. They want the lives of prenatal babies to be respected and protected.” 


New Brunswickers Do Not Support Abortion Policy by NB Free Press

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