• New poll finds overwhelming public support for expanded access to abortion, echoing the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations
• Politicians must heed public desire for substantial reform of Ireland’s abortion laws
People in Ireland share the Citizens’ Assembly’s support for access to abortion on request and in other circumstances required under international human rights law, Amnesty International said today as it published the results of a new opinion poll. The poll was carried out by RED C Research from October 16-19 and is based on the ballot wording put to the Citizens’ Assembly in April 2017. It shows that, of those who have an opinion, a majority of people in Ireland (60%) believe that women should have access to abortion on request, either outright or within specific gestational limits. People’s support is broadly consistent across all age groups, regions and demographics.
The poll also found that the overwhelming majority want women to have access to abortion when their health is at risk (89%), when they are pregnant as a result of rape (85%) or where there is a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality (81%). The poll found that a significant majority of people want women to have access to abortion where there is a significant foetal abnormality that is not likely to be fatal (64%), and based on the woman’s socio-economic circumstances (57%). A very low proportion (circa 4%) chose to abstain from giving an opinion, which suggests that views on the issue of abortion are very strong. Today’s poll results echo the vote of the Citizens’ Assembly, which recommended expansive reform of Ireland’s abortion laws. The Assembly’s almost two-thirds majority vote (64%) for access to abortion on request at least in early pregnancy, with even greater majority votes for later gestational limits in specific circumstances, was an important vindication of women’s and girls’ human rights.