58.4% of University of Malta students are against the legalisation of abortion whilst 41.6% are in favour, a survey carried out by KSU shows.
The survey, which was borne out of a KPS meeting on the subject and which tracked the responses of 733 students, reflects the official position of the council on the controversial subject.
Students were given questions on various scenarios and asked whether they agree or disagree with abortion being made legal in each scenario.
The majority of respondents (62.3%) believed that abortion should be legal if the mother’s life is in danger, although 21% of respondents still think that even in that case an abortion should not be made available to the prospective mother.
Opinion was split on whether abortion should be made legal if the child is found to have a life threatening illness – 44.3% disagreed, 43.1% agreed and the remaining 12.6% said that they were neutral.
It was also split in the case of rape; one third agreed that abortion should be legalised in this case, but another third disagreed.
Other than these, the majority of respondents disagreed that abortion should be made available if there is any form of disability found in the child (64.1% disagreed), financial instability (66.7%), any form of addiction (62.2%), not being ready for parenthood (69.5%), teenage pregnancy (67%), and simply not wanting the child (71.2%).
The majority also said that abortion should be illegal in the scenario of first three months of pregnancy being intrusive (60.2%) or non-invasive (55.3%); second trimester (84.2%), or the last trimester (91.7%).
The survey showed that there was a stronger tendency for men to believe that abortion should be illegal than women; while 68.2% of male respondents answered that the practice should be illegal, 16% or so less of female respondents (52.8%) believed that it should be illegal.
Respondents answered using a web-based questionnaire. Around two-thirds of respondents were female so to reflect the university’s demographic make-up. Researchers estimated a 3.5% margin of error assuming a 95% confidence level.