Canadian Public Opinion on Abortion

On behalf of Sun News, Abacus Data’s survey of 1,007 Canadians over the age of 18 found that views surrounding abortion in Canada are divided.  The issue is one of many shades of grey and should not be considered a black and white issue.

A majority of respondents believe that human life should be protected before birth but another majority believe that the choice to have an abortion should be left up to the mother.  Very few Canadians (8%) want an outright ban on abortion in Canada.

Also of significance is the finding that over half of Canadians are willing to openly discuss the abortion debate.

Although older Canadians (60+) were more likely to be opposed to abortion, their views on public funding are consistent with all other age groups.  However, older Canadians were somewhat more likely to want to just leave the debate alone.

Those in Atlantic Canada feel strongly about the debate. They were most likely to believe legal human rights ought to be protected before birth and were most strongly opposed to abortions specifically.

The most significant divide was between the NDP and Conservative supporters. NDP supporters were more likely to favour public funding of abortions compared with Conservative supporters.  Similarly, almost no NDP supporter believed that abortions should be illegal compared with the 15% of Conservative supporters who believe this should be the case.

Download the full report.


From April 28 to April 29, 2011, Abacus Data Inc. conducted an online survey among 1,007 randomly selected Canadian adults from an online panel of over 400,000 Canadians. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is comparable to +/- 3.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Results of the survey were statistically weighted by gender, age, region, language, and immigration status using census data from Statistics Canada and by past vote using Elections Canada results from the 2008 General Election. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.