What you need to know about attitudes to abortion in Ireland (part 2)

Role of Religion

Contrary to what might have been assumed, people’s religion does not significantly impact on their views on abortion.

82% of people who describe themselves as religious do not believe that their views should not be imposed on others.

56% of religious people think that looking at abortion from a human rights viewpoint is useful because it balances one’s right to freedom of religion with the rights of women who decide to have abortions.

70% of religious people do not have very conflicted views on abortion because of their religion.

28% of religious people who support abortion in some circumstances hide their view because of their perception of how people who share their religion would feel about them.

Of those describing themselves as religious, just 19% trust church leaders to inform them accurately on this issue.

Public Knowledge, Awareness and Trust

The most trusted sources of information were medical professionals (69%) and women who have had abortions (62%).

The least trusted were politicians (7%), media outlets (14%), anti-abortion groups (16%) and church leaders (16%).

52% of respondents feel they do not know enough about the Eighth Amendment to know how they would vote and would like the media to give more information on it. This view is particularly pronounced outside of Dublin.

Only 38% of those who are opposed to abortion in any circumstances trust anti-abortion groups as a reliable source of information on this issue.
60% agree that men have a responsibility to be a part of the discussion on abortion.


Only 14% of respondents were aware that having an abortion when the woman’s life is not in danger is a criminal offence which carries a potential 14 year prison sentence.

Of the 5% of people who are personally opposed to abortion in all circumstances, 77% are not aware that this 14 year criminal penalty exists.

75% of farmers are not aware that having an abortion when the woman’s life is not in danger is a criminal offence.