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POLL: Majority opposed to incoming abortion law in Northern Ireland

A new opinion poll has found that a majority of people in the north are opposed to the proposed abortion laws being imposed by the British Parliament.

The new law will pave way for abortion on demand in Northern Ireland on October 22nd if the Assembly at Stormont does not reconvene. Commentators say Sinn Féin are stalling the Assembly so that the abortion proposal can become law.

The poll asked respondents if they supported the changes in the law passed by Westminster that “will impose a new abortion regime in Northern Ireland”.

52% said they were opposed to the abortion law, with just 39% in favour. 9% said they were unsure or did not know.

In addition, the majority of both women (51%) and men (53%) were against the changes.

Similarly, a majority were found to be opposed in all age categories. In the 18 to 24 year-old category, 54% were opposed, compared to 38% in favour. In the over 65 age range opposition was strongest, with 63% opposed to the legislation.

77% of DUP supporters were found to oppose the measure while 52% of Sinn Féin voters supported the move.

Campaigners pointed out that excluding Don’t Knows, some 57% of those who expressed an opinion were found to be opposed to the abortion measure.

The poll was commissioned by pro-life group Both Lives Matter and conducted by Belfast-based research group LucidTalk who looked at 1,424 responses over three days at the end of September, weighted to represent a cross section of Northern Irish society.

The group said the findings showed the public were frustrated with the political impasse at Stormont and opposed to the imposition of abortion by Westminster.

Last month, 20,000 people marched against the abortion laws in Belfast. Welcoming the poll findings, organiser Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life, said the new law would impose one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe and urged MLAs to return to halt the measure which she said was opposed by a majority of people in the north.

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