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Poll: Most Czechs are for abortion, enactment of euthanasia

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Prague, June 15 (CTK) – Most Czechs agree with women’s right to terminate their pregnancy and the enactment of euthanasia or the killing of people at their own request, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM institute in May and released on Thursday.

The right to abortion is supported by 71 percent and to euthanasia by 63 percent.

The general attitude to euthanasia and abortion has remained all but unchanged over the past years.

The proportion of Czechs saying a woman has the right to decide herself on artificial termination of her pregnancy has been steadily ranging at around 70 percent since 1970.

At present, only a mere 2 percent of Czechs believe that abortion should be totally banned, while 16 percent believe it should only be permitted on certain conditions and 6 percent are only ready to allow it if a pregnant woman’s life is threatened.

Women, non-religious people and right-wing voters tend to support pregnant women’s right to decide on interruption more often than the rest.

The number of abortions has been steadily falling. Since 1990, their number has diminished five times.

In the early 1990s, there were over 100,000 of them annually, while the figure slumped to 20,300 by last year, the Czech Statistical Office data say.

Induced abortions accounted for 57 percent of all abortions last year.

Almost two-thirds of Czechs agree with the enactment of euthanasia, while roughly one-fourth are against it.

So far, only the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg have legalised euthanasia, while in other countries assisted suicide is possible.

Assisted suicide is committed by the person itself, while euthanasia is made by another person.

In the Czech Republic, the enactment of euthanasia has been proposed by a group of lawmakers, but Heath Minister Miloslav Ludvik (Social Democrats, CSSD) and President Milos Zeman agreed on its rejection in April.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,019 Czechs over 15 between May 8 and 18.

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