78% of Irish people in support for abortion change

The overwhelming majority of Irish people would be in favour of legalising abortion in circumstances beyond what is currently allowable, a new study shows.

A Red C poll for Newstalk radio reveals 78% of people surveyed think abortion is an appropriate course of action in the case of rape or incest; while 76% support it in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.

The poll also shows 61% of people support decriminalising abortion in cases of non-fatal foetal abnormality; and 59% in cases where the woman experiences suicidal feelings.

Sinead Mooney, the joint managing director of Red C Research, said that where a woman is raped or gets pregnant by a family member, there’s strong support for termination.

“We had a very strong support for legalising abortion in that circumstance: almost eight in 10 adults agreed that it should be allowed in those circumstances,” she said.

The survey, which involved a national representative sample of 1,005 adults, also reveals 41% of respondents agreed termination of the pregnancy should be an option in any circumstances felt necessary by the mother.

However, the poll shows a lower level of support for repealing the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, with 48% believing it should be removed and 41% believing it should not.

Richard Colwell, CEO of Red C Research said: “The results of this exclusive poll for Newstalk show that the majority of adults in Ireland would like to see legal options for abortion within certain circumstances to be introduced in Ireland.

“However, while seeking these changes, many remain committed to the ideals of the Eighth Amendment, suggesting that while at a national level the people want to see abortion laws within Ireland revised, they still want to see careful governance retained.”

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