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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 19°C
Sasko Lazarov/ File photo of Health Minister Simon Harris.
# exclusion zones
Vast majority of people support banning protests outside facilities that provide abortion services
Eight in 10 women and over seven in 10 men support the measure, according to a new opinion poll.

THE VAST MAJORITY of people in Ireland support banning protests outside facilities that provide abortion services, a new opinion poll has found.

Almost eight in 10 people surveyed (77%) support such a ban – 80% of women and 74% of men, according to an opinion poll carried out by Amárach Research for RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live/

Overall, 16% of people surveyed said they are not in favour of such a ban and 7% said they are unsure.

The topic is back in the headlines after an anti-abortion protest was held outside the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin city last week.

poll Claire Byrne Live / Amárach Research Claire Byrne Live / Amárach Research / Amárach Research

Health Minister Simon Harris strongly criticised the protest, describing it as “sickening” and an “attempt to intimidate and harass women, their partners, and indeed healthcare staff turning up to work”.

“We have heard from women who miscarried, who were asked on the street ‘Are you going to murder your child?’,” Harris told reporters last week, saying people could protest outside Leinster House or his department, rather than at a hospital, if they so wished.

Harris added that he is committed to implementing exclusion zones around facilities carrying out termination procedures. 

Support across all age groups and locations 

People across all age groups support a ban on such protests, according to the poll – 81% of people aged 18-24 years and 25-34 years support the ban, as do 78% of people aged 35-44, 74% of 45-54-year-olds, and 76% of people aged 55 and older.

Such a ban also received support from across the country – 77% of people in Dublin said they support it, 18% are against it and 5% are unsure; in Leinster excluding Dublin, 76% are in favour, 16% against and 8% unsure; in Munster, 76% are in favour, 17% against and 7% unsure; and in Connacht and Ulster, 81% are in favour, 11% are against and 8% are unsure.

More than 1,000 adults were surveyed for the poll earlier this week. 

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