A clear majority of Ontarians do not want all abortions subsidized by taxpayers, nearly twice as many want abortion facilities to release more information about abortion numbers and costs than do not want these statistics revealed, and few Ontarians know how much the province spends on funding abortion according to a new Abacus Data poll commissioned by The Interim, Campaign Life Coalition, and LifeSiteNews.com.
Abacus found that 91 per cent of Ontarians are unaware that the province spends a minimum of $30 million on abortion, while nine per cent said they knew that figure. The widespread ignorance of how taxpayer funds are used to pay for an elective procedure illustrates the need for full disclosure of abortion-related statistics. As The Interim reported in October, ascertaining the true costs of abortion are nigh impossible and that Campaign Life Coalition goes with the conservative estimate of $32 million, although the actual direct and indirect costs of providing abortion and dealing with its physical and emotional aftermath is probably more than $300 million.
Asked “Do you support or oppose the provincial government requiring clinics and hospitals to disclose all statistics regarding abortion?” nearly half supported disclosure: 26 per cent strongly support requiring abortion facilities to release that information and 22 per cent somewhat support such a requirement. Only 13 per cent strongly oppose requiring full disclosure and another 10 per cent somewhat oppose it. Three in ten respondents did not care one way or another.
The Abacus Data analysis noted that 30 per cent suggested “a relatively high degree of indifference.” CLC Ontario president Mary Ellen Douglas said she was horrified by the three in ten that had no opinion, but described that segment of the population as an opportunity for education.
Asked which of four statements came closest to representing the respondents, the vast majority of Ontarians expressed opposition to the status quo of funding all abortions for any reason. One in ten respondents did not think that abortion should be allowed at all and another 11 per cent said abortion should be permitted but that it should not be subsidized. The most popular statement, “I think abortions should be available to those who choose to have one, but the province should only pay for them in case of emergencies,” received 40 per cent support. Added together, the three responses indicate strong opposition (61 per cent) to public funding for all abortions. Only three in ten respondents said they supported funding all abortions in Ontario.
Campaign Life Coalition Youth director and Defund Abortion Rally organizer Alissa Golob told The Interim that when one considers that even according to pro-abortion research, such as that from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, few abortions are done for any medical reasons let alone genuine medical emergencies, the poll shows the public is ready to start talking about defunding abortion. “The polls supports the common-sense view that taxpayers should not be paying for the lifestyle choices people make,” Golob said. “Many physicians have reiterated the fact that no medical or health benefit exists in an elective surgery such as abortion, which is evidence enough not to fund a procedure whereby the (medical necessity) is highly contested.”
CLC national president Jim Hughes said the polling data “reveals that Ontario taxpayers and voters do not support the status quo of taxpayer funding for all abortions committed in the province,” adding that it is “proof that politicians should not run and hide from the issue of ending these baby-killing subsidies.”
The poll revealed little difference between men and women in their views on abortion funding or amongst various regions of the province, political affiliation, or age groups. Hughes said that “the view that abortion should be defunded is popular across the board,” noting that even with supposedly liberal groups such as Toronto residents, women, and among those under 30 there was majority support for defunding. Even 59 per cent of those intending to vote NDP did not want all abortions funded.
There were two notable deviations from the general trends. Those who were most religious were more likely to oppose abortion access period (37 per cent) and oppose taxpayer funding of all abortion (10 per cent) and those who were not at all religious were much more favourably predisposed to funding all abortion (47 per cent). Also, 53 per cent of evangelicals opposed abortion and just seven per cent thought abortion should always be funded. Catholics and non-evangelical Protestants were virtually indistinguishable from the general public in their attitudes about abortion and abortion funding.
The online poll of 1,050 adults randomly selected from an online panel of Ontarians was conducted by Abacus Data from Oct. 3-4. Although there is no margin of error for non-probability sampling, a sample of 1,015 has a margin of error comparable to +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Abacus was selected by The Interim because of their accuracy in the federal election. The October poll was conducted at the same time as their poll for the provincial election which was the most accurate amongst major polling firms compared to the final results.