A recent survey conducted by the Public Opinion Research Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CVVM) has revealed that a significant majority of Czech citizens support the freedom of choice on abortion and euthanasia, with the number of supporters steadily increasing. The survey indicates that nearly four-fifths of the population (79%) believe that women should have the right to decide whether to terminate their pregnancies, marking the highest level of support since 1990. Additionally, almost three-quarters of Czechs (73%) are in favor of legalizing euthanasia, allowing terminally ill individuals to voluntarily end their lives.
The survey also sheds light on the country’s relatively liberal stance on prostitution, as 40% of respondents expressed their support for legalizing and regulating the trade. Another 37% favored decriminalizing prostitution, removing penalties for both sex workers and clients. In contrast, only 12% of Czechs believed that sanctions should be imposed on prostitutes and their clients.
The overwhelming support for the freedom of choice on abortion has been steadily increasing since the early 1990s when 60% of the population backed the idea. The current levels of support are particularly high among women and individuals aged 45-59. Notably, abortion has been legal in the Czech Republic since 1957, with termination on the request of the mother permitted until the 12th week of pregnancy. Abortions can be performed until the 24th week in cases involving genetic defects. Despite occasional attempts to restrict abortion legislatively, such proposals have not been successful.
In contrast to neighboring Poland, where abortion laws have become significantly stricter, resulting in the deaths of pregnant women who were denied the procedure, the Czech Republic has seen a growing acceptance of euthanasia. According to the survey, 73% of Czechs now support the legalization of euthanasia, marking the highest level of support since the CVVM began asking the question in 2007. In comparison, 58% of people supported euthanasia back in 2007. Opposition to euthanasia has decreased to 20%, predominantly among Roman Catholics, down from 28% in 2007. Despite several proposals to introduce euthanasia legislation, the Czech Parliament has yet to pass any such measures.
The CVVM survey was conducted from March 27 to May 22 and involved 834 Czech residents aged 15 and above. The results highlight the prevailing attitudes in Czech society, with an overwhelming majority supporting the freedom of choice on matters of abortion, euthanasia, and prostitution. These findings provide insights into the evolving social landscape and may influence future discussions and potential legislative initiatives.