By Claire O'Sullivan
- Up To 82% Favour Termination In Certain Instances
A nationwide poll may signal a change in attitudes to abortion with more than two-thirds of those questioned supporting the availability of abortion here if the mother's life is at risk or a pregnancy is the result of rape or sexual assault. But, the TNS MRBI survey showed that a little more than half remain against a blanket 'right to choose', with 51% against the availability of abortion here to a woman who decides it is 'in her best interest'.
- The national survey completed for the Safe and Legal (in Ireland) Abortion Rights Campaign showed that 82% of Irish people agreed with abortion where a pregnancy seriously endangers a woman's life, while 14% disagree and 2% said it depended on other factors.
- Three-quarters of those surveyed said abortion should be available if the foetus cannot survive outside the womb, with 20% opposed and 2% saying their answer would depend on the situation.
- Seventy-three percent said that abortion should be available here where the pregnancy was the result of sexual abuse by a family member, while 22% disagreed and 1% said their answer depended on different factors.
- A further 69% supported the availability of abortion where the woman's life is at risk from suicide; 25% disagreed and 2% used the 'depends' response.
- Legal abortion in Ireland where pregnancy was tyhe result of rape was supported by 69% of those surveyed while 24% disagreed with this and 3% used the 'depends' answer.
- More than half supported abortion when there is evidence that the child will be profoundly deformed with 56% agreeing and 37% disagreeing.
- Fifty-one percent of respondents disagreed with a woman having the right to abortion if it's 'in her best interests', while 43% agreed with Irish abortion on these grounds.
The telephone survey was carried out between May 29th and June 8th, on a representative sample of 1,000 adults. The Safe and Legal (in Ireland) Abortion Rights Campaign, made up of various pro-choice groupings, welcomed the findings but the Pro-Life Campaign said they 'lacked credibility'.
Pro-Life Campaign spokeswoman Dr Audrey Dillon said their own polls showed different results citing a March poll that showed 66% of those who expressed an opinion were opposed to the Dáil legislating for abortion.
'We have called on the Government to face up to majority support for abortion in the case of the dangers to a woman's life, where the foetus cannot survive outside the womb, in the case of rape and incest and in the case of the threat of suicide,' a spokesman for Safe and Legal siad.