Media Release 21 January 2018
An independent poll of New Zealanders by Curia Market Research has found significant support for greater time limits on abortion, including from those who generally support abortion. There was surprisingly small support for the current Crimes Act time limit of 20 weeks, and overwhelming rejection of any extension to the limit. There was also strong support for legal safeguards.
“These results confirm that the Labour government has no mandate at all to liberalise the abortions laws. The vast majority of the population – including people who generally support abortion – show strong support and acceptance of the current legal framework and the presence of safeguards around issues such as coercion, standards for providers, and informed consent,” says Marina Young, spokesperson for Family First NZ.
In the independent poll of 1,013 NZ’ers in December, just 9% support the current legal limit for an abortion of 20 weeks. Only 4% believe it should be later than 20 weeks (including up to birth), as proposed by pro-abortion group ALRANZ. 50% think the time limit should be shorter than the current 20 weeks, and a further 36% were unsure. Of those who did pick a time limit, 15 weeks was the median choice, according to Curia.
Significantly, 56% of women think the time limit should be less than the current 20 weeks. And incredibly, 53% of those who generally support abortion think the time limit should be less than the current 20 weeks – 29% of abortion supporters say 10 weeks or less.
Other results include:
- 65% of respondents agree that society should work together to reduce the number of abortions (only 17% disagree). Of those who generally support abortion, 63% agree with reducing the number of abortions (19% disagree). 74% of women agree (56% of men).
- 86% support the current legal requirements of providers and premises having to be licensed (only 8% disagree). Of those who generally support abortion, 92% support these legal requirements. 95% of women agree (78% of men).
- 90% oppose sex selective abortions (Only 4% support). Women were 94% opposed, and 91% of those who generally support abortion are opposed.
- 76% support doctors being required to verify a woman seeking an abortion is not under any coercion from a third party (8% opposed). Women are 83% in support (men 69%). Of those who generally support abortion, 84% support this legal requirement.
- 52% say they generally support abortion and 29% oppose, 19% unsure. However, opposition to abortion exceeds support of abortion in areas of high deprivation (39% to 35%). NZ First voters are least supportive, Green voters most supportive.
- 49% support being able to have an abortion just because a woman doesn’t want to be a mother (38% opposed, 13% unsure). Respondents in high areas of deprivation are evenly split on the issue. Green voters most supportive (73%), NZ First voters least supportive (38%).
- Women are more pro-life then men on most of the issues canvassed.
Earlier surveys – also carried out by Curia Market Research – have found:
- A 2016 survey asked respondents whether they agreed with the following statement: “Women who have abortions risk harming their mental health as a result of the abortion.” Overall, 46% agreed with the statement, 21% were unsure or didn’t say, and only 33% disagreed. Significantly, strongest agreement with the statement came from the younger 18-40 age bracket (50%).
- A 2011 poll found that the majority of New Zealanders (64%) believe that women considering an abortion have the right to be fully informed of the medical risks of abortion – and the alternatives.
- A 2010 poll found that 79% of respondents think parents should be notified if their daughter aged under 16 is seeking an abortion. And a 2011 poll of 600 teenagers (15-21) nationwide found that 59% of young respondents thought the parents should be told if their school-age daughter is considering getting an abortion, so long as it won’t put her in physical danger. 56% of youth respondents also said they believe an unborn child or foetus has a right to be born. Slightly more young women than young men agreed – 58% to 55%.
“Contrary to misrepresentation by pro-abortion groups, New Zealand women are either satisfied with the current regulation of abortion or want it made more restrictive. Women are not made criminals by the current legislative guidelines and protections. To claim otherwise is simply false scaremongering aimed at deceiving people into supporting the introduction of an extreme abortion law in New Zealand. The existing safeguards are there to protect women from unlicensed premises and coercion, and they are ones most New Zealanders support.”
“Our concern is that taking away the current safeguards will simply result in women being rushed or pressured into abortions that they don’t actually want, and which the current system helps to protect against. Coercion to have an abortion is a big issue for some women,” says Mrs Young.
The latest nationwide poll was carried out during December and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.
(Marina Young had an abortion in 1986 and now speaks about and promotes abortion healing through the Buttons Project (established in 2008) – which offers counselling, networking, and support programmes.)