Six out of ten give the procedure their backing in the cases of rape, incest and foetal malformation

Over half of people support a woman’s decision to have an abortion, a survey has found.

Six out of ten give the procedure their backing in the cases of rape, incest and foetal malformation, but 51% say they respect a woman’s right to choose regardless.

The number in favour of legalisation soars to 77% when the woman’s life is at risk.

The news comes after the Oireachtas Committee on Abortion moved to recommend “not to retain the Eighth Amendment in full”.

The motion was proposed by Sinn Fein and seconded by Fianna Fail. The late-night sitting at Leinster House saw members vote by 15 votes in favour, two against, with two members, James Browne and Anne Rabbitte of Fianna Fáil abstaining.

Denise Walker, GMB Organiser, said: “This ground-breaking survey shows attitudes to abortion in Ireland are softening.”

The trade union network is pushing for a “mature debate” on legalising the procedure.

The poll of over 3,000 people north and south found that 62% say the government should fast track the expansion of access to abortion.

Overwhelmingly, one-in-nine say women who have the procedure should not be criminalised.

Earlier this year a Citizen’s Assembly on the matter voted by majority in favour of recommending that abortion without restriction should be lawful.

They also voted on various gestational limits.

Groups representing workers’ rights say it is something which effects employees and their bosses alike.

Ms Walker said: “Abortion is a serious workplace issue particularly on the island of Ireland, where woman often have to travel abroad for medical treatment.

“They often experience stigma after having an abortion, which has to be managed in the workplace and it may be the case that this also applies in England, Scotland and Wales.

“In addition, financial pressures and access to sick pay and sick leave lead to some women to use their annual leave to recover from an abortion – and often return to work too early.”

Of the respondents, 20% said they had direct experience of abortion.

73% of these did not tell their colleagues.

Ms Walker said: “It is clear from the research that this is a matter for trade unions and we must move forward to ensure that this subject is firmly on the trade union agenda, both in terms of campaigning for reform but also in the arena of workplace negotiations in the UK and in Ireland.
“The trade union movement must provide the space for dialogue and help to bring an end to the stigma of abortion.”

One Response to “Over half of people in Ireland support a woman’s decision to have an abortion”

  1. They might support it, but they’re women! Therefore, it’s not going to happen.


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