The Pro Life Campaign has said the question asked on abortion in the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll is completely misleading. The poll publishedin recent days claims that 68% of people favour a referendum that would allow abortion in the case of rape or where the baby will not be born alive.
Pro Life Campaign said it would welcome a public debate on the methodology and type of questions being asked on the issue of abortion. Commenting on today’s poll, Caroline Simons, Legal Consultant to the Pro Life Campaign said:
“In the question gauging support for abortion where the unborn baby has a terminal illness, the poll question clearly states that these are situations where the baby ‘will not be born alive’. This is a total distortion of the true picture since no doctor can say with certainty that a baby will die in pregnancy or even in the newborn period. Prolonged survival has occurred in all of the cases commonly described as fatal.”
“Opinion polls should not be adding to public confusion. They should be clarifying issues if anything. We had the same situation during the debate on last year’s abortion law where poll questions were put to people that presumed that abortion was a treatment for suicidal feelings. We know from the evidence that this is not the case.”
“It is time for a public debate on the methodology and type of questions being asked on the issue of abortion. The Pro Life Campaign would welcome such a discussion.”
Previous polls in Ireland have found pro-life sentiment against abortion very consistent. Last year a Amárach opinion poll revealed that a clear majority of people are opposed to abortion as a response to a suicide threat.