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Dublin: 10°C Monday 17 May 2021
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Poll: Should it be legal to have an abortion in Ireland?

Twenty years on from the X case, is now the time to look at Ireland’s stance on abortion?

Members of Action on X - wearing masks of former Taoisigh who failed to legislate for the X case ruling - protest at the Dáil yesterday.
Members of Action on X - wearing masks of former Taoisigh who failed to legislate for the X case ruling - protest at the Dáil yesterday.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

YESTERDAY MARKED THE 20th anniversary of the landmark X case which saw the Supreme Court give permission to a 14-year-old rape victim to travel to England for an abortion.

Although women cannot be prevented from travelling abroad to get an abortion now, no government has legislated to reflect that 1992 ruling.

Women also have the constitutional right to access abortion when their lives (as distinct from their health) are in danger, including from the risk of suicide. However, a European court recently ruled that there is a notable gap in the the theory and practical implementation of the right to a lawful abortion in Ireland.

An expert group has now been established to consider that 2010 judgement by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which ruled the rights of one woman – known as Miss C – were violated because the state had failed to legislate for the existing constitutional right to abortion.

As part of its defence in the case, the Irish government argued that restrictions on abortion in Ireland were based on “profound moral values deeply embedded in the fabric of society”.

Action groups responding to the failure of the State to legislate after both the X and C cases have said it is time to take action on Ireland’s stance on abortion. But how far should it go?

Should it be legal to have an abortion in Ireland?


Poll Results:

Yes, on demand (3232)
No, not at all (837)
Yes, but only when the woman's life or health is at risk (including suicide) (624)
Yes, but only when the woman's life is at risk (excluding the risk of suicide) (324)
Don't know (206)
Yes, but only when the woman's life is at risk (including from the risk of suicide) (199)






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