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UK Abortion Law: Abortion Views Survey 2023

What do people think about the UK abortion law?ย 

  • Is the UK pro-choice or pro-life?
  • How much support is there for disability abortions?
  • Should abortions be conducted in homes?

Over the summer and autumn of 2022 we asked these questions to more than 874 members of the public. Contrary to what other surveys and polls suggest, a majority of respondents, when given the facts, thought that the UK abortion law needed reforming in some way. The desire for reform was most apparent when it came to questions of abortion because of disability, fetal viability, fetal pain relief, and where abortions should be allowed to take place.

Key findings

  • 26% of respondents said they were pro-life, 59% said they were pro-choice. The rest said they did not know (11%) or preferred not to say (4%).
  • A total of 58% of respondents, when given facts, thought our abortion law should be restricted in some way, with only 11% wanting a relaxation in our laws.
  • Just under half (46%) of respondents believed current abortion figures are too high. Only 1% of respondents believed we should have more abortions.
  • Over half of respondents (55%) thought aborting a baby because of Downโ€™s syndrome was unacceptable, with 6 in 10 (63%) expressing support for reforming our abortion law in this area.
  • 8 in 10 (79%) respondents thought aborting an unborn baby solely because s/he has cleft lip and cleft palate is unacceptable, with 76% expressing support for legal reform in this area.
  • 61% of respondents supported a reduction in the upper abortion limit from 24 weeks to 22 weeks.
  • 80% of respondents supported the mandatory introduction of painkillers for the unborn baby during an abortion procedure beyond 12 weeks gestation.
  • 71% of respondents thought โ€œpills by postโ€ abortion was unacceptable. The figure concurs exactly with other polls on the matter and nearly exactly with the government consultation result on the same topic.