Republic of Ireland news

Poll: Majority in Republic would vote in favour of abortion up to 12 weeks

A poll has found a majority of people in the Republic would vote in favour of liberalising abortion laws. Picture by Tom Honan/PA

A majority of voters in the Republic favour liberalising abortion laws and allowing terminations on request up to 12 weeks into pregnancy, according to a new poll.

The survey found that 56 per cent of respondents supported changing the constitution to allow the Irish government to introduce abortion legislation.

It found that 29 per cent would vote against in a referendum, while 15 per cent said they did not know or had no opinion.

Changing the law would mean repealing the eighth amendment of the constitution, which recognises the equal right to life of a mother and her unborn child during pregnancy and in effect bans abortion in almost all circumstances.

The survey revealed a significant swing towards the 'repeal' side ahead of a referendum expected this summer.

When asked if their view on abortion being more widely available had changed in the last year, almost a fifth of respondents said they were more open to the idea, while three per cent said they had become less open.

The Irish Times/MRBI survey polled 1,200 people earlier this week.

A special cabinet meeting on Monday could give the go-ahead for a referendum on the issue, possibly in May or June.

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