Really interesting, the new figures about public attitudes to abortion, specifically women’s attitudes, reproduced below and published in the Mail on Sunday today. They suggest a good deal of unease with the current law, an unease I would guess has something to do with advances in pre-natal screening. It’s hard to square a six month cut-off limit for abortions with ubiquitous images of foetuses at 12 weeks looking embarrassingly, palpably, human. They may not be viable – ie capable of surviving outside the womb – but they’re human all right.
On the most important issue, the period during which abortion is legal, there’s a large majority – 7 in 10 women – in favour of reducing the time-limit, with nearly six in ten in favour of a limit of 16 weeks or fewer. Then there’s the large majority of parents wanting parents to be informed when their underage daughter has an abortion – entirely unsurprising, really, and the very large majority in favour of a ban on sex selective abortions – where the principle of female autonomy clashes interestingly with feminist distaste for the practice.