We `don't want more abortions'

TASMANIANS are opposed to abortion on many grounds even though they support it in general, a poll commissioned by pro-life organisation Emily's Voice has found.

The poll found Tasmanians opposed abortion on the grounds of financial hardship, sex selection, mild disability, career concerns or when a family does not want any more children.

The poll also found that 73per cent of Tasmanians were opposed to late-term abortions that take place after 20 weeks gestation.

Emily's Voice chairwoman Katrina Hobbs said while the majority of people surveyed said they supported abortion in general, they did not support it in many specific scenarios.

"Tasmanians, in general, don't want to see more abortions," Mrs Hobbs said.

"They don't approve of many of the reasons why abortions are occurring."

The poll of 300 respondents was conducted by Galaxy for the Queensland-based organisation on February 8 and 9, a month before Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne released a private member's bill to decriminalise abortion.

It found that 59 per cent did not agree with a decision to have an abortion because the child had mild intellectual disabilities, 92 per cent did not agree with it on sex- selection grounds and 66 per cent did not agree with the grounds of financial hardship.

Mrs Hobbs said the results showed that Tasmanians did not want a more liberal approach to abortion.

She said that with an estimated 80,000 pregnancies terminated nationwide each year we should be doing more to reduce abortion, not encourage it.

Ms O'Byrne's proposed Reproductive Health Bill would remove abortion from the Criminal Code, allow access to abortion up to 24-weeks gestation, and access after 24 weeks if two doctors find it is necessary for a woman's wellbeing.

The public comment period has been extended to April 5.


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