Amnesty poll backs changes in abortion laws

A poll of 1,000 people in Northern Ireland shows majority support for abortion in certain circumstances, Amnesty International has said.

The poll, which has been criticised by pro-life group Precious Life, comes after another study showed that 5,650 women from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have bought abortion pills online between 2010 and 2015.

That information was supplied by the online abortion service Women on Web, who said those who took part in the survey reported “positive outcomes”.

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The Amnesty International survey showed that 72% of people supported abortion in cases involving rape while 67% were in favour of allowing abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

Adrianne Peltz, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland campaigner, said: “These poll findings demonstrate an overwhelming demand for change to Northern Ireland’s draconian abortion laws.”

Precious Life, however, said the survey is not representative.

Bernadette Smyth, who heads up the group, said: “ In April 2015 it was revealed that of the 25,320 responses to the consultation, 25,140 opposed the legalisation of abortion in cases where an unborn child has been diagnosed with a life-limiting disability.”

She added: “Opinion polls by Amnesty International cannot and should not be taken seriously.”