New poll to mark International Women's Day finds that three quarters of Irish population want liberalisation of abortion laws
8th March, 2010
The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has welcomed the publication today of a new YouGov national opinion poll which indicates high levels of support for increased access to abortion in Ireland.
The poll reflects a significant shift in public attitudes with three quarters of those questioned in favour of liberalisation of Irish abortion laws. 78 per cent of those questioned support access to abortion in Ireland if the pregnancy endangers a woman’s health or if the pregnancy is the result of sexual abuse, rape or incest.
Support for abortion when a pregnancy seriously endangers a woman’s life increases further to 87 per cent.
The IFPA believes that the criminalisation of abortion in Ireland has little impact on abortion rates; it merely adds to the burden and stress experienced by women experiencing crisis pregnancies.
It is the view of the Irish Family Planning Association that Irish laws on abortion are out of step with those of its European neighbours. Forty four out of 47 European countries provide for abortion to protect women’s health.
In the light of growing public support for liberalisation of Ireland’s abortion laws the IFPA has called on the Government to face up to its responsibilities and stop exiling women who are experiencing crisis pregnancies.
Niall Behan, Chief Executive of the IFPA said: “Attitudes towards abortion in Ireland have changed dramatically in recent years and the vast majority of Irish people now recognise that many women face difficult dilemmas in pregnancy. This poll is the latest in a long line of opinion polls which indicate that the Irish people want the Government to face up to reality of women’s and girls’ lives.”
The YouGov poll comissioned by Marie Stopes found:
- Approximately nine out 10 respondents (87%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the pregnancy seriously endangers the woman’s life;
- More than three quarters of respondents (79%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the woman’s health is at risk;
- Nearly eight out of 10 respondents (78%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the pregnancy is the result of sexual abuse / rape or incest;
- Just under two thirds of respondents (62%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if there is evidence of a profound foetal abnormality;
- Over four out of 10 respondents (41%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the woman believes it is in her and / or her family's best interest;
- Only three per cent of respondents felt that abortion in Ireland is not acceptable under any circumstances