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Friday, February 5, 2010

Honest debate necessary to address real issues sorrounding Abortion in Ireland

The way in which the Irish Examiner presented the result of a RED C online survey on abortion published on 21st January was misleading and did not make an honest contribution to the debate on abortion in Ireland.

The poll claiming that 60% of 18-35 year olds support legalised abortion in Ireland was presented by the Irish Examiner in a misleading way on its front page on

Given the question posed, the results were not at all surprising. The survey made no distinction between necessary medical treatments in pregnancy and induced abortion, (where the life of the unborn child is directly targeted). This in effect renders the findings meaningless and sheds no new light on public attitudes to abortion.

Polls, including one in 2009, that distinguish between standard medical treatments and induced abortion consistently show majority opposition to legal abortion according to Millward Brown IMS market research 2005-2009. and 2009

The Red C survey confined its interviews to 18-35 year olds. Clearly then the findings are not representative of the general population. Also, only 36% of the 18-35 year olds interviewed 'strongly' approve of legal abortion and not 60% as the Irish Examiner claimed.

The report also failed to draw attention to the known fact that 18-35 year olds start to increasingly identify with the pro-life position as they get older. This is borne out in all surveys on the issue.

All things considered, it was extremely misleading for the paper to run with today's front page headline declaring: 60% In Favour of Legal Abortion

The abortion debate is a very serious one and deserves more objective treatment than it received in the Irish Examiner.

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