Most Canadians believe in global access to safe abortions: poll

But maternal foreign aid not a top priority for respondents

According to a new poll by Nanos Research, Canadians think women living in countries that receive aid from Ottawa should have access to safe abortions. 67.7 per cent of respondents said women in countries receiving Canadian aid should have the same access to safe abortion as Canadian women, with majorities in all regions, age groups, genders and political affiliations supporting the right of Canadian women to have an abortion. Pollster Nik Nanos said the results prove the views of Canadians aren’t aligned with the government on this issue. Respondents ranked maternal health last when offered four choices for allocating foreign aid in every region but Atlantic Canada, where it was ranked second last. When world leaders meet in southern Ontario this week, they are expected to endorse the “Muskoka Initiative”—a push to improve maternal and child health in the developing world. Canada is expected to ledge at least $1 billion to support an initiative that will focus on “better access to strengthened health systems, and sexual and reproductive health care and services, including voluntary family planning,” according to a draft of the summit communiqué. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesperson Andrew MacDougall said Harper isn’t interested in the abortion debate, and that Canada can bring resources without bringing debate to countries in need of aid.

Globe and Mail