Desire for Abortion Debate is Higher in the U.S. than in Canada

British Columbians and Quebecers are more likely to say that the procedure should be legal under any circumstances.

Vancouver, BC [July 12, 2019] – Americans are more likely than Canadians to call for a nationwide discussion on abortion, a new two-country Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, almost half of Americans (46%) believe a debate about abortion is long overdue in the country and want the discussion to be re-opened. 

Conversely, over a third of Americans (36%) believe there is no point in re-opening a debate about abortion right now.

In Canada, a significantly smaller proportion of residents (37%) would welcome a debate on abortion, while a majority (53%) thinks there is no point in revisiting the issue.

“Democrats in the United States are more likely to wish for a new debate on abortion (42%) than Republicans (34%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “In Canada, Conservative Party voters in 2015 are more eager for a discussion (44%) than those who cast a ballot for the New Democrats (33%) or the Liberals (27%).”

Almost half of Canadians (46%) believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances, while more than two-in-five (43%) would allow the procedure only under certain circumstances. 

In the United States, just under three-in-ten Americans (28%) believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances, while almost half (48%) would allow it only under certain circumstances.

While almost one-in-five Americans (19%) think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, only 5% of Canadians agree with this point of view.

Canadians aged 18-to-34 (48%), British Columbians (54%), Quebecers (also 54%), as well as Liberal (58%) and New Democratic Party (NDP) (55%) voters in the 2015 federal election, are more likely to say that abortion should be legal under any circumstances.

In the United States, men (21%), Americans aged 18-to-34 (21%), residents of the Midwest (24%) and those who identify as Republicans (26%) are more likely to support a ban on abortion.


Results are based on online studies conducted from July 2 to July 5, 2019, among representative samples of 1,000 adults Canada and the United States. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian and U.S. census figures for age, gender and region in each country. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points for each country.

Find our full data set for Canada here, full data set for the United States here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.