Amnesty International/Red C poll reveals 60% support access to abortion on request

• 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.

Key Findings Include

  • 60% of people in Ireland, across all age groups, regions and demographics, believe that women should have access to abortion on request, either outright or within specific gestational limits.
  • 89% want woman to have access to abortion when their health is at risk.
  • 85% want woman to have access to abortion when they are pregnant as a result of rape.
  • 81% want women to have access to abortion where there is a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality.

Method

The research was conducted in October 2017, using RED C’s telephone omnibus survey, RED Express. This is the same methodology which is used for regular political opinion polls published in the Sunday Business Post. 1,000 adults aged 18+ were interviewed over the telephone between 16th and 19th October 2017. The sample size was quota controlled by age, gender, socio-economic status and region in order to ensure a fully representative sample. In addition to this, RED Express uses a Random Digit Dial (RDD) method across landline and mobile to ensure that ex-directory households or those with no landline are included in the sample – ensuring maximum representation. The margin of error on a sample size of 1,000 is +/- 3.2%.

The full polling decks are available for download

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Background

The organisation’s submission to the Assembly summarises the harm and human rights violations caused by Ireland’s criminalisation and prohibition of abortion. A copy of the submission is available here.

This is Amnesty International’s third Red C poll on attitudes to abortion in Ireland. The most extensive polling took place in February 2016 and the complete findings are available here.

Our June 2015 polling is also available here.

It’s Time. Repeal the 8th.

We need to put the health, well-being and autonomous decision-making of women and girls at the centre of our abortion laws. It’s time to Repeal the 8th.