Public want abortion weeks cut in line with rest of Europe

Most people, and three in four women, think the abortion time limit in Great Britain should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower in line with laws in other EU countries, a new poll shows.

In a poll conducted this month by ComRes for The Christian Institute, over 1000 GB adults were asked whether they thought the UK should lower its abortion time limit in light of the fact that in most other EU countries the limit is 12 weeks or lower.

See breakdown of EU limits

58 per cent of people thought that the time limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower, or that abortion should be banned completely.

Among women, 73 per cent supported a reduction to 20 weeks or lower, or a complete ban, while 41 per cent thought the limit should be 12 weeks or lower.

The UK’s current 24 week limit is double that of most other European countries. Of the 27 countries in the EU, 16 ban abortion beyond 12 weeks. A further four have a limit of 10 or 12 weeks unless the procedure is approved by a special committee.

The UK’s abortion rate is among the highest in Western Europe. 200,000 abortions are carried out here each year, with 60,000 of those representing a repeat abortion.

Director of The Christian Institute, Colin Hart, said: “Most people agree that something must be done to curb the startling number of abortions that are performed here every year.

“These poll results show that most Britons want to see our abortion time limit brought into line with the rest of Europe. We hope MPs will listen to the opinion of the public on this issue.”

Poll graphic

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