A majority of Britons want far greater restrictions on access to abortion, a new poll has revealed this week.

The results of the survey, carried out last week by ComRes, also found that women are more in favour of tightening British abortion laws than men.

Just one in a hundred of those polled said they would like to see the decriminalisation of abortion to allow the procedure beyond the present upper limit of 24 weeks up to birth.

Yet 60 per cent said they believed the upper limit was already too high and that it should be lowered to at the most 20 weeks.

Under the 1967 Abortion Act, abortions are only legal if two doctors are satisfied that a woman’s mental or physical health is in danger. It is allowed beyond 24 weeks only in cases of disability.

Almost two thirds (60 per cent) of more than 2,000 men and women interviewed said the upper limit should be lowered to 20 weeks, with a fifth of respondents – the largest group – saying it should go down to 12 weeks. Among the female respondents, the figure rose to 70 per cent for 20 weeks and a quarter (24 per cent) for 12 weeks.

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