How does Kelowna feel about abortion?

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New poll shows discomfort with abortion status quo among Kelowna residents.

May, 2020; The Kelowna Right to Life Society has released the results of an internally-conducted poll taken in February and March of this year. A total of 102 Central Okanagan residents were asked their opinions and beliefs about abortion, including its morality, its legal status, sex-selection abortion, tax-payer funded abortion, and when they believe “personhood” begins.

The Society conducted the poll so they could have a better read on public opinion in the area, and they intend on conducting it on an annual basis to track any evolution in social beliefs. They intended on gathering a stronger sample of two hundred respondents, but social-distancing prevented them from reaching that goal. The sample included an equal number of women and men ranging from late teens to retirement age, and most of the findings are consistent with the results of other national polls taken in recent years.

Here are the main conclusions gleaned from the surveys: There is no majority consensus on the morality of abortion, but only 23% agree the current legal status on abortion is morally acceptable. Conversely, 77% believe abortion after the first trimester is morally wrong, and 36% take the position that abortion is always wrong or only morally permissible in the case of rape or to save the life of the mother.

Only 19% of Kelowna residents are aware there are no legal gestational limits on abortion in Canada. Most people (60%), including 76% of women, falsely believe abortion is legal only in the first trimester. Men were more evenly divided among the three possibilities given. 24% of men, compared to only 14% of women, correctly believe abortion is legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in Canada.

There is no majority belief about when we become “persons,” with the most popular belief (31%) being consistent with the legal reality in Canada: at birth. Section 223 of the Canada  Criminal Code defines a human being as coming into existence when the baby is completely outside the mother and in a living state. Fewer respondents (26%) believe we become persons at the moment of conception, with 36% of women believing we become persons at conception. One person said that life begins “when the woman decides,” and 10% could not provide an answer.

A huge majority (93.1%) of Kelowna residents are uncomfortable with sex-selection abortion – which almost always targets female fetuses – and do not believe it should be legal in Canada. A smaller yet still significant majority (71.6%) mistakenly believe it is currently illegal in Canada. There was a high degree of moral indignation toward the practice, even among those who fully support legal abortion.

A clear majority (64.7%) of participants believe non-medical/convenience abortion should not be paid for using tax dollars. Participants were told that in Canada there are 100,000 abortions per year at the cost of approximately $1,000 each (estimated $100 million per year total). Most were surprised at the high number and high cost of abortion to the Canadian tax-payer. More men than women (69.4% to 57.1%) are opposed to tax-funded abortion.

The Kelowna Right to Life 2020 Survey has an accuracy rate of 9.8%, 95% of the time.

Photo by Mike Benna on Unsplash