Ireland: Abortion Referendum No Longer Has A Sure Victory

Pro-lifers making gains

Activists from the 'Angels for Yes' campaign near Trinity College, urging a 'yes' vote in the referendum to repeal the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution seen in Dublin's City Center on May 16, 2018.
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

The pro-death crowd in Ireland is slowly losing ground; they no longer have a sure-fire victory on May 25 when the referendum which will decide whether or not abortion should be a constitutional right is voted on.

According to a new poll from Reuters, the gap between those who wish to repeal the Eighth Amendment and those who wish to retain is it slowly narrowing.

"The Irish Times/MRBI poll found that 44% would vote to repeal an amendment to the constitution that enshrines the equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child, with 32% opposed," reports Reuters.

A full 17% of Irish voters still remain undecided with another 5% refusing to vote and another 2% refusing to answer. Of those still undecided, 31% said they were "leaning toward" repealing while 24% said they were leaning toward retaining. This could very well be an extremely close vote.

"When the same poll asked three weeks ago whether voters would support a change allowing the government to legislate for abortion on request up to 12 weeks - the regime it hopes to introduce after the vote - 47% were in favor and 28% against," reports Reuters. "The poll shows a strong conviction among those who have already decided with 65 percent 'absolutely never going to change my mind' and 22% 'extremely unlikely to change my mind.'"

The demographics break down similar to the United States: unmarried women, young people, and urbanites support abortion.

"The results confirm what we all expected: the gap between the Yes and No sides is closing," Irish Times reporter Pat Leahy wrote Thursday. "The result of the referendum – in which the Yes side has consistently held a strong lead – is no forgone conclusion."

Pro-lifers in Ireland have certainly celebrated the new poll, emboldening them even further to fight harder. "Undecided voters are moving to the pro-life side in big numbers," said the Protect the 8th campaign, who will be launching a telephone campaign to 32,000 voters reminding them to vote "no" on May 25.

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