A large scale poll of 17’500 respondents from 25 countries found that whilst support for legal abortion remained high (at 70%), this is down from 75% in 2016.
Citizens of European countries had the most favourable attitudes towards abortion, with 80% agreeing that the procedure should be legalised in some or all circumstances.
In contrast, 48% of Malaysians agreed with the statement that abortions “should not be permitted, except when the life of the mother is in danger”. However, the way the question was asked masked the difference between abortions, which are never medically necessary, and life saving interventions, which may be necessary to save the mother’s life, which unintentionally may cause the death of the unborn baby.
The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed a new wave of uncertainty into the abortion debate. Some countries, such and Ireland, have changed practices to allow for dangerous DIY home abortions. These reckless actions are putting women’s lives at risk, which has tragically become evident in England. Leaked NHS documents describe how two women have died following DIY home abortions there.
In addition, some UN agencies have exploited the pandemic crisis to increase access to abortions.
As the deadly harm of abortion to mother and baby is increasingly exposed, it is understandable how support for abortion is decreasing worldwide.