Study: most support abortion rights

Issue 

Abortion is still a criminal offence in Queensland, but most Australians, including Queenslanders, are pro-choice.

This was the finding of Swinburne University sociologist Katherine Betts in a study published in People and Place on October 5.

Betts used data collected from Australian Election Studies and Auspoll surveys to show that most Australians support the decriminalisation of abortion.

She found that 57% of Australian's support a woman's right to get an abortion unconditionally. More than 30% support access to abortion in special circumstances. Just 4% oppose abortion in all cases.

Betts found unconditional support for a woman's right to choose an abortion was higher in Brisbane (63%) than any other major city. A recent Auspoll survey said 79% of Queenslanders support the decriminalisation of abortion.

The study comes as a young Cairns couple face charges for attempting to procure an abortion.

"Voters in Queensland are no more opposed to abortion than people in any other part of Australia", said Betts. "A clear majority support freedom of choice and almost all support access to abortion in special circumstances.

"Despite this, Queenslanders are still subject to abortion laws that date back to 1899."