Poll: 65% of NI people want abortion law change

Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland campaigner for Amnesty International. Photo: Press Eye.
Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland campaigner for Amnesty International. Photo: Press Eye.

A new poll has found that 65% of the Northern Ireland people want abortion legislation here relaxed, says Amnesty International.

Amnesty also said that 78% of people in Great Britain also want to see the law amended in Northern Ireland, where abortion is only lawful if the mother’s mental or physical health is at risk.

The lobby group also said that 83% of Great Britain think women in Northern Ireland should have the same access to abortion pills as women in the rest of UK.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, said: “Our research shows landslide support for reform to Northern Ireland’s repressive abortion law. Every part of the UK agrees that abortion should be decriminalised and that Westminster should legislate for change.”

Amnesty’s survey of people living in Northern Ireland revealed that:

• 65% believe an abortion should not be a crime;

• 66% believe that without Stormont, Westminster should reform the law;

• 80% think a woman should have the choice of an abortion when her health is at risk;

• 80% agree that a woman should have the choice of abortion in cases of rape or incest;

• 73% agree that the woman should have the choice of abortion in cases of serious pre-birth illnesses.

The figures have been released on the same day that Diana Johnson MP launched a Private Members’ Bill to decriminalise consensual abortion in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Great Britain YouGov Plc poll surveyed 1,756 adults online, under British Polling Council rules. The NI poll of 1000 adults was done through a Cognisense Omnibus Survey.