World Publics Reject Criminal Penalties for Abortion
Public at Odds With Their Country’s Laws in Half of Countries Polled
Released June 18, 2008
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WorldPublicOpinion.org finds that in 17 out of 18 nations polled around the world, majorities reject using criminal penalties, such as fines and imprisonment, as a means to prevent abortion.
Nations differ on whether the government should make any effort to discourage abortion. In nine nations majorities believe their government should simply leave these matters to individuals.
Seven nations favor government efforts to discourage abortions, but in only one–Indonesia–does a majority endorse their government using criminal penalties. The other six that favor government efforts are divided between minorities who favor criminal penalties and who favor only non-punitive government efforts to discourage abortion, such as education, counseling and adoption services.