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September 2014 News

Support for abortion falls in response to ads

  • Written by  Ian Anderson

Support for abortion in Tasmania has fallen 3% in the 15 months since Toowoomba’s Emily’s Voice launched a sustained media campaign in the Apple Isle.

Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke said Galaxy polls last month in Tasmania and in February 2012 in Toowoomba showed a total of 47,000 people said they were now more opposed to abortion as a direct result of the truthful and hopeful advertising campaigns.

Mr O’Rourke presented the findings last month in Toowoomba at the annual Emily’s Voice fundraising event at Rumours International.

“The Tasmanian survey also showed that just 47% of women said they supported legislation passed last year allowing abortion-on-demand to 16 weeks, and thereafter with the approval of two doctors,’’ Paul said.

“Forty-five percent of women opposed the new law, with 8% remaining undecided.“

“Support for abortion in Tasmania is still high, with 58% saying they generally support the procedure, but we take comfort and encouragement from Toowoomba where general support for abortion is just 36% after five years of sustained campaigning,” said Paul.

The surveys show Emily’s Voice have influenced the views of 35,000 people in Toowoomba and 12,000 people in Tasmania. The latest Galaxy survey of 400 people 16 years and older showed 72% of Tasmanians recalled having seen the ads, with a total of 78% of people, and 82% of women saying they were credible.

Mr O’Rourke said the organisation was delighted with the latest Galaxy research findings.

“People like the ads and, more importantly, they work.’’

About 350 people attended last months celebration and fundraising dinner. Money raised on the night will be used to fund ongoing campaigns in the Darling Downs and enable the organisation to expand into new markets being considered which include the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay regions, Albury-Wadonga and Western Australia.

In October, ads begin in the Hunter Valley of NSW, bringing the potential audience to almost 1.5 million people.

Paul told the dinner guests that the organisation drew encouragement and inspiration from other successful culture-changing campaigns such as the smoking and skin cancer social marketing causes.

“I’m old enough to remember when you could smoke on an aeroplane. What were we thinking? Now, of course, smoking is illegal on planes and in many other public places.”

Mr O’Rourke told guests that to make abortion unthinkable, media and educations campaigns had to first make abortion “unreasonable” and “unnecessary”.

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