Galaxy surveyed Queenslanders on Abortion: download the results here.
The results of a comprehensive opinion poll conducted by leading independent market research firm Galaxy on 6-8 May 2016 for the Australian Family Association are as follows:.
This research shows that the majority of Queenslanders (53%) either want the law to stay as it is, or are in favour of making it stricter - with 39% of voters wanting it be less restrictive. Similarly, more Queensland voters (49%) say they do NOT want abortion decriminalised, while 43% are in favour of decriminalisation.
When the question was asked, Up to what stage of pregnancy would you allow abortion, 22% of Queensland voters said “not at all” and a further 50% said only up to 3 months – meaning that 72% of Queenslanders are opposed to abortion after 3 months.
85% are opposed to abortion after 20 weeks, with only 6% in favour. It is important to note that Rob Pyne’s extreme position is supported by only 6% of Queenslanders.
The research also showed that 45% of Queenslanders are opposed to abortion in cases where a healthy mother is carrying a healthy unborn baby, with 38% in favour.
We know that the vast majority, an estimated 97%, of abortions are performed for financial or social reasons, not for medical reasons. So even in the first three months, support for abortion is highly conditional.
These figures indicate a significant level of uneasiness with what decriminalisation would mean, even among those who say they support it.
This may be because 84% of Queenslanders believe that abortion can harm the physical and/or mental health of a woman.
There is clearly no consensus to change to the law, except that Queenslanders overwhelmingly want safeguards introduced to protect women.
94%, almost everyone, believes that a woman should receive free independent counselling and information so she can make a fully informed decision.
87% of Queensland voters want a cooling-off period of several days between making an appointment for the abortion and the actual operation.
And 75% want parental consent requirements for girls under 16.
This poll also shows that 79% of Queenslanders support conscientious objection provisions for doctors and nurses which would allow them to opt out of performing abortion operations against their will.
The last question in the poll may give pro-abortion MPs some reason to reconsider.
When asked “if your local member of parliament voted in favour of decriminalising abortion, would this influence the way you vote at the next state election?”, 47% of Queenslanders said it wouldn’t influence the way they vote.
However, 24% said they would be less likely to vote for their MP if he or she voted to decriminalise abortion, while 18% said they would be more likely to vote for their MP in that case.
This means that MPs who vote for decriminalisation of abortion will face an average potential swing of 6% against them at the next election. Abortion is not a vote winner.