Irish poll finds large majorities favor only very limited changes in protective abortion laws

By Dave Andrusko

It would probably be fair to say that polling conducted by the pro-abortion Irish Times exerts considerably influence —rightly or wrongly—on how the public views possible changes to Ireland’s very pro-life laws. And no reporter/columnist writes more about it than the Irish Times’ Pat Leahy.

As NRL News Today readers know, currently women and unborn children have equal rights under Ireland’s Eighth Amendment to its constitution. The entire international pro-abortion machinery has taken dead aim at Ireland, pushing for abortion on demand.

The immediate catalyst for change is the Citizen’s Assembly which last year recommended a widespread loosening of the laws on abortion.

According to the Journal

The Assembly recommended that abortions should be allowed without restriction up to the 12th week of pregnancy and for “socioeconomic reasons” up to the 22nd week of pregnancy. In cases of fatal foetal abnormality, it recommended terminations be permitted during any period of the pregnancy.

The nation’s Prime Minister has announced there will be referendum next year, but exactly what will be proposed is still unknown. As Leahy writes

Currently, the Oireachtas [Parliament] committee on the eighth amendment is considering the report of the Citizens’ Assembly. It will advise the Government in due course what kind of referendum it favours, and what kind of legislation should accompany it. Ultimately the Government will propose and the Oireachtas will decide.

Yesterday Leahy reported on the newspaper’s latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll which asked different questions than usual. Instead of general questions, respondents were asked about which of two broad categories of changes they would favor and how they would vote on them if they were on the referendum—“general access versus limited access,” is his characterization.

Voters were asked if they were in favour of amending the Constitution “to allow for abortion in limited circumstances such as fatal foetal abnormality, rape or real risk to the life of the woman”; or amending the Constitution “to allow for abortion in all circumstances – abortion would be allowed up to the 22nd week of pregnancy”. They were also asked if they favoured “no referendum at all”.

Only 24% were in favor of the “all circumstances.” A total of 57% supported “abortion in limited circumstances,” and another 10% wanted no referendum at all.

A whopping 70% said they would vote in favor of the limited circumstances options to only 17% against. What about the “all circumstances” option which only 24% said they were in favor of? Only 35% said they would vote for it.

Of course, pro-lifers in Ireland are fighting to defend all unborn babies, so the “limited circumstances” option has no appeal for them.

Stay tuned.