Majority of Irish oppose referendum on abortion

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MOST Irish people do not want a new referendum on whether there should be a complete ban on abortion, according to an opinion poll. It also showed the Dublin government may have a tough job persuading voters to support the amendment of the Republic's constitutional claim over Northern Ireland.

Support for Articles Two and Three of the Irish constitution, which stake the claim, is shared by 41 per cent, while 39 per cent back changing it to an aspiration.

The poll also found a four to one majority support women's rights to information on abortion, at present prohibited under the terms of the 1983 referendum which gave the foetus a right to life equal to that of the mother.

The survey was done last week as the Pope indicated his opposition to information being available. The Church wants a referendum on the main abortion issue.

The findings show the November referendum to guarantee the right to go abroad for an abortion will almost certainly be passed. It found 65 per cent in favour and 26 against. Access to abortion information is supported by 76 per cent with 18 per cent against.

The poll, in the Irish Times, confirmed a liberal shift among younger voters. The only group strongly in favour of a referendum on whether there should be a complete ban on abortion were the over-65s, who were 48 per cent for and 42 per cent against. Overall 58 per cent oppose putting the issue to the country.