Voters in Ireland Oppose Making Abortion Legal as Lawsuit Begins

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Voters in Ireland Oppose Making Abortion Legal as Lawsuit Begins Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 22, 2005

Dublin, Ireland ( — As a group of abortion advocates take their legal case to a European court to overturn Irish law against abortion, a new survey reveals more voters in Ireland do not favor reversing the country’s pro-life laws. Young Irish voters may support it, but, overall, Irish citizens do not.

A new Irish Examiner/Lansdowne survey reveals that 47 percent would vote against a referendum legalizing abortion while just 36 percent would vote for it.

Irish citizens under 35 years of age were more likely to favor abortion than older citizens with 49 percent in that age group saying they would back such a referendum.

Some 32 percent of 18-24 year-olds oppose legalizing abortion and 35 percent of those 25-34 do.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of those above the age of 35 would vote against an abortion referendum and just 35 percent would support it. Older Irish residents oppose abortion with 56 percent of 50-64 year-olds pro-life and 69 percent of those over the age of 65.

More wealthy Irish residents were more likely to favor abortion while poorer citizens were more likely to oppose it.

Three women from Ireland who traveled to Britain to obtain abortions took their case to a top European court earlier this month. They hope to overturn Ireland’s strong pro-life laws that prohibit abortions unless the life of the mother is in danger.

The European Court of Human Rights is part of the Council of Europe that deals with issues of democracy and human rights. A decision on the case is not expected until 2006.

Pro-Life Campaign spokeswoman Audrey Dillon said IFPA and the lawsuit ignore the humanity of the unborn child and the damage abortion does to women.

"Every society has to confront the reality of crisis pregnancy," Dillon said. "The challenge is to create a more welcoming society for expectant mothers and their unborn children by providing positive alternatives to abortion."

The Ireland newspaper surveyed 1,032 people.