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European nations see small drop in support for abortion rights

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Abortion rights demonstrators rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington.
Abortion rights demonstrators rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington.   -   Copyright  Jacquelyn Martin/AP
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A growing number of people in Europe are opposed to the right to abortion, according to a new survey conducted by Ipsos MORI.

Although the poll, which took in 17,500 people from 25 countries revealed that 70% believed that abortion should be permitted - 2% lower than in 2014, when the survey was first conducted - the number of people who supported abortion rights declined in eight European nations.

Germany, France and Spain saw a 9%, 6% and 5% drop respectively since 2014.

That said, the numbers of supporters in Europe remain extremely high, with Sweden (88%), Belgium (87%), France (84%), Great Britain, the Netherlands and Spain (all 83%) at the top of the ranking.

Other countries have seen huge increases of support of the right to abortion: South Korea (+20), Mexico (+13) and Russia (+10).

The United States (64%) and Japan (66%), are the only developed nations in the top 10 where acceptance is lowest.

Abortion in the EU

Most countries of the European Union have legalized abortion with or without a mandatory waiting period or counselling.

The practice only remains illegal in Poland and Malta where highly restrictive laws are still in place.