Irish pro-life advocates expressed skepticism this week about a new poll showing support for legalized abortion on demand.
Earlier this week, The Irish Times released the new poll showing that 56 percent of people would repeal the Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies from the moment of conception. In addition, 29 percent want to keep Ireland’s pro-life laws, and 15 percent are undecided.
Ireland is under intense pressure to repeal its Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies’ right to life. Abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, are pushing the pro-life country to legalize abortion on demand.
In December, a biased government committee recommended that Ireland repeal its Eighth Amendment and legalize unlimited abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Some have been pushing for a referendum vote in May or June, prior to Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.
Here’s more from the report:
Poll respondents were told it was likely the Government would seek to legislate for abortion to be available on request up to 12 weeks. They were also told that in order to legislate for this, the Constitution needed to be changed in a referendum.
They were then asked: “Will you vote to change the Constitution so that the Government can legislate for abortion up to 12 weeks, or will you vote not to change the Constitution?”
A clear majority of all voters said they would vote in favour of the constitutional change.
However, 57 percent also said they had “reservations” about a proposal to legalize abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, Politico reports.
Cora Sherlock, spokesperson for the ProLife Campaign, said she thinks those numbers will change when people understand the details of the referendum.
“Today’s poll results are largely in keeping with other recent polls on the issue,” Sherlock said. “The public debate for the past month or more has largely featured members of the Government talking about the process and explaining how it is going to take shape. The debate proper has not started and the case for keeping the 8th Amendment certainly has not received the airing it deserved. When this happens, I am confident that the polls will move in a pro-life direction.”
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Other polls in the past five years have shown much less support for elective abortions. A 2015 poll for the Sunday Times found that just 33 percent of Irish residents support abortion laws similar to those in England. A 2013 poll also found strong support for the Eighth Amendment.
Sherlock said the Eighth Amendment has saved tens of thousands of lives in Ireland.
“If it is repealed or replaced, it will inevitably lead to more abortions, which means more babies will lose their lives,” she said. “That’s the stark reality of what we face in this debate.”
However, pro-life advocates are fighting against bias in the government and media, as well as an influx of outside money to Irish pro-abortion groups.
The Irish Standards in Public Office Commission, or Sipo, recently said Amnesty International Ireland received illegal donations American billionaire George Soros to push abortion. However, the pro-abortion group has refused to give back the money. The Abortion Rights Campaign, another Irish group that received money from Soros’ Open Society Foundations, agreed to return the donations.