Majority of Poles support right to abortion if foetus damaged

Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Fifty-nine percent of respondents to a Kantar poll for the Gazeta Wyborcza daily said they supported women's right to abort a foetus if it was permanently and irreversibly deformed.

Respondents were asked to assess the recent Constitutional Tribunal ruling that the 1993 anti-abortion law permitting abortion in the case of high probability of severe and irreversible foetal damage or incurable disease threatening its life was incompatible with the constitution.

Seventy-four percent of respondents opposed the ruling (60 percent strongly), 12 percent supported it and 14 percent were indifferent.

Residents of the largest cities and those with higher education disagreed with the ruling more than other Poles. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) electorate was divided, with 37 percent supporting the tribunal's ruling and 36 percent opposed. Opposition supporters were more univocal with 90 percent opposed to the ruling, Gazeta Wyborcza wrote.

The daily reported that currently 22 percent of Poles support abortion on request (until the 12th week of pregnancy) with 11 percent favouring a complete ban on terminations. Most pollees (62 percent) supported abortion only in defined circumstances.

As to the circumstances under which abortion should be permitted, 63 percent named a threat to the life or health of the mother, 59 percent quoted severe and irreversible foetal defects and 54 percent pointed to pregnancy being the result of rape. In the event of a documented difficult life situation of the mother, 10 percent of respondents believed termination should be an option.

The Kantar pollster conducted the survey on October 26 and 27 on a national sample of 1,000 people.