85% favour X case legislation but confusion over poll

The majority of adults are in favour of abortion laws that would allow a termination when there is a risk of suicide to the mother, a poll has found.

However, the poll was “highly contradictory”, and revealed a high level of confusion, said anti-abortion campaigners.

The Sunday Business Post/Red C poll found 85% of adults favoured legislating for the X case, which would allow abortion when the mother’s life is at risk, including from suicide.

A significant portion of voters — 82% — said they favoured a constitutional amendment to extend this criteria, allowing abortion where the mothers’ health, as distinct from her life, was at risk.

However, there were contradictory findings where, in a separate question, 63% of voters said suicide should be excluded as grounds for abortion.

The Pro Life Campaign said the answers to the different questions were “highly contradictory” and showed a “very high level of public confusion on the issue, mainly to do with the distinction between necessary medical interventions in pregnancy and abortion”.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore told party members it was “beyond time” the Government legislated for the X case.

At Labour’s centenary commemoration in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, Mr Gilmore said his was the only party to hold such a policy since the late 1990s, “a policy that has often caused our members and our elected representatives to be subject to vile abuse, our homes picketed, our children targeted”.

He said Labour’s position was “the position of the people”, and that it was “beyond time to give expression to the will of the people by legislating to give clear protection to pregnant women and guidance to their doctors”.

He said the Government would make a decision on how to proceed later this month.


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