Overwhelming Majority of Czechs Support Freedom of Choice On Abortion and Euthanasia

79% of Czechs agreed that a woman should have the right to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, June 21 (CTK) – A crushing majority of Czechs are in favour of freedom of choice on abortion and euthanasia, with the proportion of citizens supporting these views growing, according to a survey conducted by the Public Opinion Research Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CVVM).

For example, nearly four-fifths of people support women’s freedom to decide whether to terminate their pregnancies, the highest figure recorded since 1990. Almost three-quarters of the population also support the legalisation of euthanasia, the voluntary ending of the life of a terminally ill person.

Czechs are also relatively liberal towards prostitution; two-fifths of people would legalise it as a trade.

79% of Czechs agreed that a woman should have the right to decide on her own whether to terminate her pregnancy; only 2% of respondents would ban abortion completely. The rest would only allow abortion under certain circumstances – 13% taking into account the health and social considerations for the child and the woman, and 4% only in the case of a threat to the pregnant woman’s life.

Czech society’s support for freedom of choice in abortion has been rising since the early 1990s, when 60% of people supported it. Support is higher among women and also among people aged 45-59.

Abortion has been legal in the Czech Republic since 1957. In case of termination of pregnancy on the request of the mother, the latest date is the 12th week of pregnancy, and in case of genetic defects, the 24th week. Legislative proposals to restrict abortion have not been successful.

In neighbouring Poland, for example, the courts essentially banned abortions in 2020, which has subsequently led to the deaths of several pregnant women when doctors refused to terminate the pregnancy due to the presence of a foetal heartbeat, despite the threat to the pregnant woman’s life.

There is also growing support for the legalisation of euthanasia in the Czech Republic. Based on the survey, 73% of Czechs now support it, the highest since CVVM began asking the question in 2007, when 58% of people supported it. Currently, 20% of Czechs, mostly Roman Catholics, disagree with the introduction of euthanasia, compared to 28% in 2007.

Czech legislators have proposed the introduction of euthanasia several times, but parliament has not passed it.

Czechs are also relatively liberal towards prostitution; 40% of the survey participants would permit it and regulate it by law. Another 37% would stop short of legalising it, but would remove sanctions for people who offer or use sexual services. Only 12% of Czechs would like to see sanctions for prostitutes and their clients. About 6% would support sanctions targeted only at those who offer sexual services.

A proposal to legalise prostitution has previously been submitted to the Czech Parliament, but its proponents have so far failed to push it through.

The survey was conducted by CVVM from 27 March to 22 May, with 834 Czech residents over the age of 15.

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