Survey examining young people's attitudes towards
abortion for fetal abnormality
1a. Would you consider yourself (please tick)
pro-choice (you think that women should be allowed to have
a choice about whether to have an abortion or not)
pro-life (you are against abortion in all cases)
1b. The current abortion law still is the 1967 Abortion
Act which was amended in 1990 under the Human Fertilisation
and Embryology Act. It says that a woman can have an abortion
up to 24 weeks in pregnancy provided two doctors agree to
her decision. In the period from 24 weeks until birth a
woman can have an abortion only if there is a serious risk
of fetal handicap, or if the woman's life is in danger.
Do you agree that women should have access to legal abortion
as stated under this act:
Yes women should have access to abortion as stated in the
1967 Abortion Act
No, I think the act is too strict and abortion should be
a decision made only by the mother
No, I think the act is too permissive and needs to be stricter
No, I think that abortion should be illegal
2. What is your personal view of abortion?
Abortion is necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancy
Abortion is important as it means the woman can decide when
she becomes pregnant rather than leaving it to chance.
Abortion should be allowed, but only for certain reasons
Abortion is unnecessary and should be made illegal
3. The current time limit for abortion has come under debate.
It is at present 24 weeks for health or social reasons and
any time up to term in the case of serious fetal abnormality
or threat to the mother's life.
Do you think that the time limit in the law for abortion
for health or social reasons should be lower than 24 weeks:
Yes it should be decreased
It should be kept the same
No, the limit should be more than 24 weeks.
4. At present the law says that abortion is allowed where
two doctors are of the opinion that there is substantial
risk that if a child were born it would suffer from such
physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
In this circumstance there is no time limit. Do you agree
or disagree with this law:
I disagree, abortion for fetal abnormality should be made
I agree, abortion for fetal abnormality should be allowed
5. Screening during pregnancy can mean that a woman can
find out whether her fetus is healthy or not before it is
born. If the fetus is found to be seriously abnormal the
woman can decide whether to go ahead with the pregnancy
or to end it with a termination. If she chooses to terminate
the pregnancy two doctors will decide whether the abnormality
can be classed as serious enough to allow the abortion.
At present the decision about whether to allow termination
is decided by the doctors judgement and the feelings of
the pregnant woman. Do you think that:
This law should stay the same
There should be a list of abnormalities and conditions drawn
up by law which spells out which conditions provide sufficient
grounds for termination and which don't.
It should be left to the mother to decide the reasons she
thinks best for termination.
6. Which kinds of abnormality do you personally think are
acceptable grounds for termination? (please tick up to three
Any condition which would mean that the child would be in
pain throughout its life
If the mother's life was in danger
The decision on whether to have an abortion should be left
to the woman
Any condition which meant that a child would be severely
No terminations should be carried out on the basis of fetal
7. Do you think that improvements in the treatment of disease
which may advance life expectancy will affect your attitude
towards abortion for fetal abnormality?
MORI poll: Research conducted for Birth Control Trust
Do you approve or disapprove of abortion under the following
Where it is likely that the child would be born mentally
handicapped or mentally disabled:
Where it is likely that the child would be born physically
handicapped or physically disabled:
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