19.02.13, Natasha Fox
A survey carried out for a religious think tank has found that suppport for an outright ban on abortion is declined significantly in recent years, while pro-choice sentiment is on the rise.
A YouGov poll for the ‘Westminster Faith Debates‘ and reported in The Guardian found the percentage of the population wanting a ban has fallen from 12% in 2005 to 7% today. The survey found support for keeping the current limit on terminations has risen by a third to a clear majority of 57%. It was found that factors such as gender, age and voting preference did not make much difference to attitudes on abortion.
Suprisingly, the study found there was no marked difference between the views of people with religious affiliations and everybody else. Among those identifying with a religion, 43% were in favour of keeping or raising the 24-week limit, compared with 46% of the general population. 30% percent wanted to see it lowered (compared with 28% while 9% supported a ban (compared with 7%). Of the religious people who were surveyed, Catholics, Muslims and Baptists are the most hostile to abortion, but only half said that they wanted to see the law changed.
Commenting on the findings, Linda Woodhead, a professor in the department of politics, philosophy and religion at Lancaster university said,
“The impression one gets from many religious leaders and spokespeople is that most religious people are opposed to the liberalising trend in society. That is just not true and statistics like this give the lie to that view.”