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Support for abortion in cases of rape drops

The latest opinion poll shows that almost seven in 10 people believe abortion is acceptable when the pregnancy is a result of rape.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE LATEST MILLWARD Brown poll for the Sunday Independent has revealed an increase in the number of people stating abortion is unacceptable, regardless of the scenario.

More than one quarter of voters disagree with terminations being allowed where there is a threat of suicide, a jump of three points on an earlier survey collated in May.

According to the results, 16 per cent of those surveyed believe abortions are not acceptable when pregnancy is a result of rape. The number in support of terminations in such cases dropped from 71 per cent to 68 per cent.

When asked if abortion is acceptable when there is a medical risk to the life of the mother (other than suicide), 14 per cent said ‘no’ and 69 per cent said ‘yes’. Support dropped a significant nine per cent in this category.

The fourth question in the “distress” sector looked at terminations where there is a long-term threat to the health of the mother. About 17 per cent said it was unacceptable in such cases, while 64 per cent believe it should be allowed. The remainder were split between ‘depends’ and ‘don’t know’.

Although there is an increased support for a more hardline anti-abortion stance, the majority of voters still believe abortion is acceptable in certain and difficult situations.

Where the mother decides to have an abortion for “other reasons”, just 30 per cent believe it is “acceptable”. However, that is a jump of two percentage points.

Read: Rabbitte would support fatal foetal abnormality clause in abortion bill

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