Pro-life side claims opinion will change once further information on abortion is shared with the Irish public

A new opinion poll from the Irish Times/MRBI shows a clear majority of the Irish public favor abortion rights for women in Ireland up to 12 weeks. Over Monday and Tuesday, 1,200 Irish were polled in a face-to-face interview in which 59% said they were in favor of a change to the constitution which would introduce abortion in Ireland during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. While 15% were undecided or gave no response, just 29% would vote against.

Participants in the poll were presented with the possibility of the Irish government changing the constitution in order to legislate for abortion up to 12 weeks and asked whether they would vote for or against in this instance.

Read more: Irish abortion laws violate human rights, claims UN

A rally for Repeal in Dublin in 2017. Image: RollingNews.

A rally for Repeal in Dublin in 2017. Image: RollingNews.

The question posed was: “Will you vote to change the Constitution so that the Government can legislate for abortion up to 12 weeks, or will you vote not to change the Constitution?”

'Irish Times' poll indicates that voters may be concerned about squandering a once-in-a-generation chance to change the status quo on abortion

— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) January 26, 2018

If undecided voters are excluded from the result, 65% would support the repeal of the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution while 35% would not support it. The first poll on abortion taken in 2018, it shows the pro-choice side of Ireland outweighing pro-life by almost two to one.

The pro-life campaign believes these figures will change, however, as the expected summer referendum on abortion draws closer, claiming that once the Irish public learns more on the topic, they will be drawn away from their pro-choice leanings. This is despite a percentage of those polled revealing that their opinions had changed toward pro-choice in the past year as a result of learning more about the issue.

Read more: Irish citizens vote for unrestricted abortion rights

A pro-life abortion protest in Ireland. Image: Rolling News.

A pro-life abortion protest in Ireland. Image: Rolling News.

“When we hear more about families who have children saved by the Eighth because it is just something we haven't seen in the debate so far,” said Cora Sherlock from the Pro-Life Campaign.

"I know from my own work with the Pro-Life Movement when the public becomes aware of those things it can be a message for them.

"When they see that there are children who are alive thanks to the Eighth Amendment - which is the reality, then they have no interest in dismantling it."

Read more: Finding a middle ground on abortion rights in Ireland

Support for repeal will fall in campaign, anti-abortion group says

— Irish Times Politics (@IrishTimesPol) January 26, 2018

The poll showed support for the legislation to be strongest in Dublin, among woman, and in other urban areas. It received 74% support among 18 to 24-year-olds.

While many TDs and Senators have already voiced their support for the Repeal the Eighth movement, Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is expected to announce his own stance on Monday evening when the formal referendum go-ahead is also expected to be announced.

How would you have voted in the poll? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, below.

H/T: Irish Times