AROUND 66 PER cent of people are in favour of medical practice that treats the expectant mother and her baby as equals, according to a poll carried out on behalf of the Pro Life Campaign.
Excluding ‘don’t knows’, the poll also shows that 3 in 4 people are in favour of constitutional protection for the unborn child that prohibits abortion but allows the existing practice of medical intervention to save a mother.
Caroline Simons, Legal Consultant to the Pro Life Campaign, said the findings published today “challenge the notion that there is broad middle ground support for abortion in Ireland”.
New laws are currently being drafted by the Government on the X Case, which allows for abortion where a woman’s life is at risk including from the threat of suicide.
The poll, conducted by Millward Brown, asked 970 people, aged 18+, during January 2013 two questions on pro-life issues:
Q1. In current medical practice in Ireland, the doctor treats the expectant mother and her baby as two patients and does his/her best to safeguard both in a crisis situation. Do you consider that this practice should be protected and safeguarded by law or not?
Result: Yes: 66%. No: 15%. No Opinion: 19%
Of those who expressed an opinion 81% answered YES.
Q2. Are you in favour of, or opposed to constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics?
Result: Yes: 63%. No: 19%. No opinion: 18%.
Of those who expressed an opinion: 77% answered YES.
Simons believes this poll differs from others published recently citing support for abortion. She says by using the word “abortion” in the question without defining just what it means “leads to uninformed answers”. “Polls using lists of emotive circumstances also tend to distort results,” she added.
The poll contradicts an Ipsos MRBI poll in the Irish Times earlier this month that shows 85 per cent of people in Ireland favour abortion in certain circumstances. It also said that 12 per cent believe that abortion should not be permitted under any circumstances.