OTTAWA, May 22 (UPI) -- Nearly half of Canadians want to leave national abortion policy alone, but a third say they would like to see the debate reopened, a poll indicated.
In the poll of 1,000 Canadians, conducted for Canwest News Service and Global Television, 46 percent said the federal government should "leave things as they are," while 34 percent said the abortion issue should be reopened and 17 percent said they didn't care either way. Three percent declined to answer.
Abortion has returned as a common subject of debate in the past few weeks after the Conservatives' decision on funding abortions abroad, Canwest reported. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government will provide support for maternal and child health programs under a G8 initiative only to organizations that do not provide abortion services.
Harper said foreign aid should go toward things that "do not divide the Canadian population." He has repeatedly said the government does not want to reopen a debate on abortion that has remained largely dormant for 20 years.
The country had outlawed abortion in most circumstances until 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the abortion law.
The Ipsos Reid poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted May 18-20 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.