Saturday, June 21, 2008

World Public Opinion Poll -- Abortion

World Public is a project initiated by the Program on Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland to study international public opinion in various countries. They've just released the results of a poll surveying over 18,000 people in 18 different countries on the question of the state's role in abortion -- should it be left to the individual, discouraged by non-punitive governmental means (ie. restrictions), or discouraged by criminal enforcement. Interesting stuff:

In half the countries surveyed, the overwhelming majority believe the decision should be left to the individual, particularly in the "western European" and North American countries. (Note: even residents of Catholic-heavy countries like Poland and Mexico, which have fairly dogmatic abortion laws, would actually prefer the state to butt out.) These opinions also followed education and income lines (the higher the education and/or income, the more likely the respondents were to feel that abortion should be left to the individual to decide). Interestingly, there was no variance between male and female respondents.