Varadkar not surprised by Newstalk poll that finds strong support for abortion in some circumstances

Health Minister warns that reflecting changes in Constitution can be difficult

Leo Varadkar, hospitals, trolley crisis, health system, St James's Hospital

File: Health Minister Leo Varadkar | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Health Minister has said he is not surprised by the results of a Newstalk/Red C poll which found that almost 80% of Irish people support abortion in the case of rape or incest.

In the case of rape or incest, 78% believe abortion should be allowed while 76% believe abortion should be permitted in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.

The research suggests almost half of those surveyed think that the 8th Amendment should be removed entirely from the constitution.

The findings also show the majority of people believe that the equal right to life for the mother and child should be changed but not completely gotten rid of.

Just 41% of respondents said they felt abortion should be allowed in any circumstances.

When asked if he was surprised by the poll results Mr Varadkar said: "Not really."I think public opinion has been changing in Ireland over the last number of years. It is difficult though to write these things into a constitution and write them into legislation.

"I think public opinion has been changing in Ireland over the last number of years," he said. It is difficult though to write these things into a constitution and write them into legislation.

Regarding action on the issue Mr. Varadkar warned, "It is difficult though to write these things into a constitution and write them into legislation."

"The proposal that we have as a party is that we will appoint a commission to examine all these issues in the early part of the next government and recommendations will be made to the Dáil and they will be subject to a free vote," he added.

The poll also found that 61% believe abortion should be allowed for both significant fatal foetal disability/non-fatal foetal abnormality and suicidal feelings on the part of the mother which were 59%.

Richard Colwell, CEO of Red C, said the findings show that "the majority of adults in Ireland would like to see legal options for abortion within certain circumstances to be introduced in Ireland.  

"However, while seeking these changes, many remain committed to the ideals of the 8th Amendment. Suggesting that while at a national level the people want to see abortion laws within Ireland revised, they still want to see careful governance retained."

 

 

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