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Press Release: Overwhelming majority of public reject radical changes to abortions laws in England and Wales

22 July Polling from two separate ComRes polls reveals that proposals from abortion lobby groups for extreme changes to the abortion law in England and Wales are out of line with public opinion with the majority of people wanting more, not less, safeguards around abortion. 

Pro-abortion lobby groups are currently campaigning to remove almost all of the current legal safeguards around abortion provision in England and Wales.

However, polling shows that 72% of the public agree that the practice of abortion should be governed by the law and 67% agree that criminal law plays an essential role in protecting patients against medical malpractice.

Proposed changes to the abortion law by the abortion lobby would seek to remove abortion from the supervision of doctors. This is strongly opposed by the public with polling showing that 85% agree that patients who are at serious risk of heavy bleeding due to a medical procedure or powerful drug should have medical supervision, in person, from a doctor. 

Furthermore, medical studies have shown that taking abortion pills to procure a medical abortion comes with specific safety issues and higher complication rates than surgical abortions. A Finnish study found the incidence of complications after medical abortion was four times higher than surgical – 20% compared to 5.6%. Government figures for England and Wales show complications involving hospitalisation are more than twice as likely after medical abortions when compared to surgical abortions, 206 per 1,000 abortions for medical compared to 88 for surgical. 

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy said:

“The abortion lobby’s proposals are wildly out of step with public opinion on this issue with polling actually showing support for more restrictions on the current abortion law in England and Wales, not less. In fact, 70% of women polled believe that the current 24-week gestational limit for abortion should be reduced. In Britain, in most cases abortions can be performed until 24 weeks, far beyond the EU median of 12 weeks.

“If the abortion lobby’s proposals were to become law, it would bring about one of the world’s most extreme abortion laws in the UK. Such a radical change in the law is being pushed by small minority of pro-abortion lobby groups but is unwanted by the rest of the UK.