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People were polled with the same questions as the Citizens' Assembly. Here's what they said

The Citizens’ Assembly had an almost two-thirds majority vote (64%) for access to abortion on request at least in early pregnancy.

Image: Blvdone via Shutterstock

PEOPLE IN IRELAND share the Citizens’ Assembly’s support for access to abortion on request and in other circumstances according to a new opinion poll published by Amnesty International.

The poll was carried out by Red C Research from 16-19 October and is based on the ballot wording put to the Citizens’ Assembly in April 2017.

It shows that the majority of people in Ireland (60%) believe that women should have access to abortion on request, either outright or within specific gestational limits.

The Citizens’ Assembly had an almost two-thirds majority vote (64%) for access to abortion on request at least in early pregnancy, with higher majority votes for later gestational limits in specific circumstances.

There was also comparable opposition to women having access to abortion on request in both this poll and in the Citizens’ Assembly vote.

Some 40% of respondents in this poll and 36% of the Citizens’ Assembly said abortion should never be available on request.

Just 4% of people polled chose to abstain from giving an opinion.


The overwhelming majority of people polled want women to have access to abortion when their health is at risk (89%), when they are pregnant as a result of rape (85%) or where there is a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality (81%).

The poll also found that a significant majority of people want women to have access to abortion where there is a significant foetal abnormality that is not likely to be fatal (64%), and based on the woman’s socio-economic circumstances (57%).

One of the biggest differences in the results of the Citizens’ Assembly vote and the poll was in the circumstances where an unborn child has a significant foetal abnormality that is not likely to result in death before or shortly after birth.

Some 64% of those polled supported abortion in these circumstances, while 80% of the Citizens’ Assembly wanted women to have access to abortion in these circumstances.

On the other hand, only 5% of the Citizens’ Assembly voted for access on request without any gestational limits, though 21% of respondents to this poll supported access on request without limits.

The poll results are broken down into gestational limits in the following table – the corresponding percentage of Citizens’ Assembly votes are marked in red (both exclude those who preferred not to state an opinion).

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Citizen Assembly Poll Source: Amnesty International

(For a larger image of the above table, click here)

Executive director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman said:

“A substantial majority (60%) want women to have access to abortion on request which gives a clearer picture of the kind of legal and medical abortion framework the Irish public want.

The poll also shows just how strongly the public support access to abortion in other circumstances, such as when the woman’s physical or mental health is at risk. Again, this echoes the Citizens’ Assembly’s vote on the issue.

“In light of this poll, public representatives must seriously question the assumptions and prevailing narratives which lead them to think people in Ireland do not support wide-ranging reform.”

Some 1,000 adults aged 18+ were interviewed over the telephone for the Red C poll. The sample size was quota controlled by age, gender, socio-economic status and region in order to ensure a fully representative sample. The margin of error on a sample size of 1,000 is +/- 3.2%.

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