A clear majority of Irish voters would support the introduction of abortion on request up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy, according to a new poll.
Ahead of an expected referendum on the topic in May or June, the Irish Times and Ipsos MORI polled 1,200 Irish voters early this week about their opinions on abortion. Most respondents — 56 percent — supported changing the constitution to allow the government to introduce abortion legislation. Twenty-nine percent said they would vote against this, and 15 percent said they didn’t know or had no opinion.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) agreed with the statement: “The law in Ireland needs to change to recognize a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion if they wish.” However, 57 percent said they had “reservations” about the 12-week proposal but “feel it is a reasonable compromise” and an improvement on the current situation.
Thirty percent of respondents said they felt abortion was wrong and should not be made more widely available.
The strongest support for legalizing abortion came from 18- to 24-year-olds (74 percent), voters living in Dublin (64 percent), and those in urban areas (60 percent). Among women, 58 percent were in favor and 30 percent opposed; among men, 54 percent were in favor and 29 percent opposed.
The vast majority of respondents — 74 percent — said their views had not changed on the topic in the last year, but 19 percent said they were more open to the idea than before.