Pro-Life Campaign to question parties on abortion stances


THE PRO-LIFE Campaign has called on the Government and the main Opposition parties to clarify their position on abortion legislation and on legal protection for the human embryo, in advance of elections on June 5th next.

At a press conference in Dublin yesterday, the campaign’s medical adviser Dr Berry Kiely said “the Government’s record in protecting embryos both in Europe and Ireland has been unhelpful’’.

She said the group planned to “notify our supporters on the stances of the various parties in advance of election day”.

It emerged at the press conference that Caroline Simons, Libertas candidate in Dublin for the European Parliament elections, is legal consultant to the Pro-Life Campaign. This was confirmed yesterday by Prof William Binchy, the campaign’s legal adviser.

Dr Kiely presented the results of a Millward Brown IMS poll which showed substantial majorities in favour of legislation protecting the unborn, the human embryo and opposing the legalisation of abortion in Ireland.

The poll, among “a quota-controlled sample of 943 people aged over 18’’, took place between January 7th and 21st of this year.

Those surveyed responded to three questions. The first one was: “Currently experimentation involving the destruction of human embryos does not take place in Ireland. Do you think the Dáil should enshrine the protection of the human embryo in law or not?’’ Responding, 47 per cent said Yes, 19 per cent said No, and 34 per cent didn’t know.

Excluding don’t knows/no opinions, 71 per cent supported a law protecting the human embryo with 29 per cent opposed.

The second poll question was on abortion and asked: “Would you be in favour or opposed to the Dáil legislating to allow abortion in Ireland?” Among those who responded 51 per cent were opposed, with 30 per cent in favour and 19 per cent against. Excluding don’t knows/no opinions, 63 per cent were opposed with 37 per cent in favour.

The final question asked: “Are you in favour of, or opposed to, constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics?”

Of those polled, 63 per cent supported constitutional protection for the unborn, with 16 per cent opposed and 20 per cent didn’t know or had no opinion.