The Pro Life Campaign regularly engages leading professional market research and polling firms to conduct opinion polls on Irish attitudes towards abortion. Despite the vote to repeal the 8th Amendment in 2018, polls consistently showed strong public support for pro-life positions throughout the duration of the 8th Amendment’s existence.
Previous Opinion Polls Showed Consistent Support for the Pro-Life Position
In research conducted in August 2018 by Amárach’s monthly online omnibus poll of 1,000 adults aged 18 and over, some important findings were made in relation to Irish attitudes towards whether healthcare workers should be forced against their consciences to perform abortions.
- 80% of respondents said doctors and healthcare workers should not be forced against their conscience to carry out abortions.
- 20% of respondents believe doctors should be forced to perform abortions against their conscience.
- 60% of those questioned said they are opposed to taxpayer funded abortion.
- This is a significant finding, given that provision of abortion in Ireland is being exclusively funded by the taxpayer. In 2019, the initial year of abortion being available, €12 million was allocated in the Budget for this.
- The Amárach poll however makes clear that the public do not support taxpayer funded abortions by a significant margin.
- 69% of those surveyed believe doctors should be obliged to give babies that survive the abortion procedure proper medical care rather than leaving them to die alone and unaccompanied.
- Sadly the Government rejected an amendment to its legislation that would have obliged doctors to medically care for babies that survive abortion.
- 79% of respondents in the poll said they favour women seeking an abortion being offered the choice of seeing an ultrasound before going through with the abortion.
- Again, an amendment to the abortion legislation that would have given effect to this was rejected by the Government.
(See full poll results here – Pro Life Campaign Survey Findings 16th October 2018)
In research commissioned by the Pro Life Campaign, Amárach Research showed that most of the public are totally unaware of basic facts regarding what legalised abortion has led to in countries like our nearest neighbour, England.
The research released showed that:
- just 6% of the public are aware that 1 in 5 pregnancies in England end in abortion
- just 10% of the public are aware that 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in England.
The research revealed that the public think considerably fewer abortions are performed than is actually the case. The findings were from Amárach’s monthly online omnibus poll of 1,000 adults aged 16 and over from May 2017
(See full poll results here – Abortion Knowledge Research Briefing May 2017)
Ahead of a Oireachtas vote on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, which legalised abortion on the grounds of suicide, an Amárach opinion poll revealed that a clear majority of people opposed abortion as a response to a suicide threat.
The poll, commissioned by the Pro Life Campaign, asked respondents to scale their support or opposition to abortion “if it were clearly shown that abortion is not a suitable treatment for a pregnant woman with suicidal feelings”. Of those who expressed an opinion:
60% said they would be ‘very unlikely’ or ‘unlikely’ to support abortion on threat of suicide.
40% of respondents said they would be ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to support abortion on threat of suicide
The poll also revealed that:
78% of people supported a free vote on the abortion legislation
13% who said politicians should be required to vote with their parties.
The Government did not ultimately provide for a free vote on the issue.
(See full poll results here – Download the full Amárach Research document here)
The Pro Life Campaign commissioned Millward Brown to carry out opinion poll research on various pro-life issues including current medical practice on the treatment of women in pregnancy.
Research was carried out between 16-25 January 2013 on a nationally representative sample of 970 people aged 18+ by face-to-face interviews. The findings showed a high level of support for current medical practice in Ireland. It asked:
“Are you in favour of, or opposed to constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics?”
- 63% answered yes,
- 19% answered no
- 18% gave no opinion.
(See full details of the poll here – hyperlink – See more detail on the new opinion poll below or download it as a PowerPoint file here)
The Pro Life Campaign commissioned Millward Brown Lansdowne to research life issues in 2012. The poll was carried out on a quota controlled sample of 979 people aged 18+ between 2nd – 15th May 2012.
The first question read:
“Just prior to polling day in the 2011 General Election, Fine Gael said it was opposed to the legalisation of abortion and experimentation on human embryos. It said that Fine Gael’s representatives would bring to the proposed all-party committee a clear commitment that women in pregnancy will receive whatever treatments are necessary to safeguard their lives, and the duty of care to preserve the life of the baby will also be upheld. Would you agree or disagree with this commitment?”
Of those who expressed an opinion:
- 80% agreed with the commitment
- 20% disagreed.
The research also revealed significant public support for current medical practice in Ireland where there is a duty of care towards the baby when intervening in pregnancy to save the mother’s life.
The second question was worded as follows:
“Current medical practice in Ireland does not allow the deliberate killing of the unborn baby. In a crisis pregnancy situation, the doctor has a duty of care towards the baby when intervening to save the mother’s life. Do you consider that this ethical practice should be protected by law?”
Of those who expressed an opinion:
- 78% agreed
- 22% disagreed
(See full poll results here – You can download poll findings here)
Over two thirds of Irish people wanted to see the right to life of the unborn child protected in law, according to a poll commissioned by the Pro Life Campaign. The poll was conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne on a national random sample of 984 adults.
“Are you in favour or opposed to constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life, in accordance with Irish medical ethics?” In response:
- 61% favoured constitutional protection for the unborn child,
- 17% opposed,
- 22% didn’t know or had no opinion.
Research conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne showed that a substantial majority of the public supported a prohibition on abortion, while allowing necessary medical interventions in pregnancy to save the life of the mother.
The Pro-Life Campaign commissioned Millward Brown Lansdowne to carry out the survey on a quota controlled sample of 950 people aged 18+ between 27th January and 6th February 2010. It asked:
“Are you in favour of, or opposed to, constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics?”
The findings showed that
- 70% support constitutional protection for the unborn,
- 13% oppose,
- 16% don’t know or have no opinion.
(See full poll results here – To view the poll result click here)
Research on public opinion on right to life issues was commissioned by the Pro-Life Campaign and conducted by Millward Brown IMS. Polling was carried out from 25th October to 9th November 2007 on a random sample of 908 people aged 18+ years. The sample was representative of the 18+ population.
The poll asked:
“If the Government were to propose a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortion but allow the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics, would you support such an amendment in a Referendum or not?”
- 67% said they would support such an amendment;
- 14% said no and
- 19% had no opinion or did not know.
Of those who expressed an opinion:
- 82% would support such an amendment and
- 18% would not.
(See full poll results here – Download poll results here)