Poll results show no room for complacency, says Harris

Yes side retains clear - but narrowing - advantage in abortion referendum campaign

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said the latest Irish Times poll results show there is no room for complacency among those seeking a repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Mr Harris was responding to the Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll which shows that while the Yes side retains a clear advantage in the abortion referendum campaign, its lead has reduced sharply in the last month.

The Minister said there is a necessity over the coming weeks to hear from doctors, womens’ rights campaigners, legal experts and politicians on why the Eighth Amendment needs to be removed.

“The status quo cannot continue. It is adding more pain and trauma to people in crisis pregnancies. This is a once in a generation opportunity.

“Do not look back on Saturday week and think ’I wish I did more’, ’I wish I voted’ or ’I wish I rang that friend’...Leave nothing behind you.”

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The Minister has said he will participate in a debate next week on RTÉ with a member of the Pro-Life campaign.

There has been a lot of discussion about adversarial debates, Mr Harris said, but this was about getting out the facts in a calm and rational way.

The Minister said nine women today were travelling to airports to seek a termination in the United Kingdom, while another three were ordering pills to their homes.

“This situation cannot continue,” Mr Harris added.

The Minister was joined by singer Christy Moore, author Marian Keyes and actress Pauline McLynn at the launch of a campaign advocating for a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum.

The aim of the ‘Hear Me Out’ campaign is to encourage people to talk about the referendum next Friday.

Moore said he is supportive of the right of a woman to have a choice over her body and was voting Yes for his wife, mother, daughter and members of his family who feel the same way.

“I call on people to use your vote, to look into your own conscience and do not get too involved in the brouhaha going on and look into your own heart.”

Keyes said this was about supporting women and not turning on women in crisis pregnancies at their most vulnerable moments.

McLynn said she wanted to reach out to the older people who may feel conflicted about the issue.