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Abortion activists conveniently ignore latest poll, say public support decriminalisation of abortion

31 May 2017


​Activists are ignoring recent polling and insisting that the public support their extreme abortion agenda. 

Abortion campaigners have launched a new campaign encouraging parliamentary candidates to sign a pledge committing to support the decriminalisation of abortion - despite an authoritative new poll showing that the public are overwhelmingly opposed to such a move.

Abortion provider the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) and UK Friends of Planned Parenthood (UKFPP) yesterday launched the "My pledge, her choice" campaign. It calls on candidates standing for election on June 8 to sign a pledge committing to "1. Protect clinic access and funding for all UK women, 2. Oppose parliamentary attacks on abortion rights and 3. Support further moves to decriminalise abortion, in line with the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2017". 

Ignoring the evidence

The website makes their case by saying that "polling suggests that the British public support a more progressive abortion law than we currently have. Despite this, anti-abortion MPs regularly propose measures to restrict abortion rights further." 

However, the campaign makes no mention of the ComRes poll published on 22nd May, which revealed the exact opposite - that the public are uneasy with current abortion legislation, and favour greater restrictions. In fact, one headline today ran "Well over half of British people support stricter abortion laws according to a new poll by ComRes". The poll, commissioned by grass roots initiative Where Do They Stand, is the most extensive UK polling in the last decade on abortion. 

99% oppose

It revealed that only 1% of the public favour abortion up to birth, which would almost certainly be the result if abortion was taken out of the criminal law. And far from supporting "a more progressive abortion law", 70% of women said the time-limit for abortion should be lowered. 

This campaign seems to confirm the evidence from the ComRes poll that the abortion industry is out of touch with the views of the public. For instance, an article in iNews promoting the campaign talks of "attempts to further criminalise abortion through a ban on so-called "sex-selective abortions", an anti-choice bill masquerading as compassion for vulnerable women." In contrast, the poll found that 91% of women believe that gender-selective abortion should specifically be made  illegal.

Short of ideas

SPUC's Communications Officer Alithea Williams commented: "This campaign shows just how extreme the abortion industry's agenda is, and the disconnect between them and the public. It's interesting to see that they are so worried about the increasing effectiveness of pro-life advocacy that they are using SPUC's idea of having politicians sign a pledge, as well as Where Do They Stand's method of contacting parliamentary candidates on the issue of abortion. They are desperate and short of ideas. In addition, they've really done us a favour, as their list of candidates who signed the pledge seems like a pretty good indication of who not to vote for!" 

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