Amnesty NI poll displays attitudes of party voters towards abortion laws

An interesting poll conducted by Millward Brown for Amnesty International has surveyed the attitudes of voters of various parties towards abortion legislation in Northern Ireland with some noteworthy statistics

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Overall the poll found that attitudes in Northern Ireland as whole favour reform. Full details can be found here.

 

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  • file

    The most interesting thing about the poll is why Amnesty International has become such a promoter of abortion. Are there not enough political prisoners in the world to keep them occupied nowadays?

  • It seems we’re not as socially conservative as our politicians suggest. I’m interested to see how the DUP and the SDLP will balance between the holy Joe-wing of their parties and an increasingly socially liberal northern public.

  • Jim M

    A couple of thoughts: did the respondents have the same understanding of what ‘decriminalisation’ would mean? To me, it means taking abortion outside the criminal justice system and effectively allowing abortion on demand. Is that how it was explained to respondents?
    Secondly, I don’t get the popularity of ‘rape exceptions’ for abortion. How on earth are you going to determine a standard of proof? To my mind the only way to address that issue is to allow abortion on demand in (say) the first trimester, because otherwise you’re going to either make rape survivors jump through hoops, or make abortion available to anyone prepared to lie.

  • hgreen

    Not really interesting unless you are unaware that approximately half the world’s population are women.

  • Andy Milligan

    So while the rest of the UK is discussing the justness (or otherwise) of abortion on the grounds of disability and particularly Lord Shinkwin’s Private Members Bill debate this Friday, Amnesty are agitating for relaxation of abortion law.

  • David Arnold

    A promoter of women’s right to choose to have an abortion is presumably what you meant to say.

  • John Collins

    As are half those who are aborted. No strong views either way, just saying.

  • hgreen

    Really depends on when someone becomes a becomes a person. Just saying.

  • hgreen

    Not sure how that is relevant. The Shinkwin bill is seeking equal abortion treatment for all foetuses not a change in the 24 week limit.

  • file

    No it’s not. They are promoting abortion. And abortion is not a right. Neither is murder.

  • file

    All human beings are people. If this were not true, why would people be filled with a sense of wonder when they listen to a baby’s heartbeat in the womb, or when they see ultrasound images of a baby?

  • hgreen

    I didn’t say all human beings aren’t people. Our difference of opinion is when human life begins.

  • file

    so when people look at scans of the baby in the womb and hear heartbeats, are they looking at and hearing human life?

  • hgreen

    Depends on the age of the foetus. First trimester IMO no.

    I’m assuming the mother is in the room as well. So we are definitely looking at a human life who’s needs and opinion must be respected.

  • Katyusha

    I’m honestly surprised how low the figures are for support of decriminalising abortion for women. Even in Republican political circles in the US, the idea of launching criminal proceedings against vulnerable women, themselves victims in some cases, makes people bristle. Sub-50% support across those parites that aren’t quasi-hard-left (SF) or metropolitan liberal (Alliance) is surprising – especially as, accoroding to amnesty, “the criminal penalty for having or assisting a woman to have an unlawful abortion in Northern Ireland is up to life in prison“. You would think there would be overwhelming support for that to be changed. I’m unsurprised by support for abortion in cases for FFA or rape either – both are specific cases: I wouldn’t read any support for wholesale liberalisation of abortion from that. FFA in particular, is still compatible with ensuring the right to life. Legislating for rape, while maybe strongly justifiable from a visceral, emotional point of view, would be a minefield in terms of legal practicality.

    Breaking figures down by party, in a region where only 54,9% of the electrorate turned out to vote, is an interesting way of presenting the results as well. Is it unreasonable to suggest that devout Catholics, who are vehemently opposed to abortion, would have reasons not to vote for SF or SDLP?

    In any case, even if our abortion laws are modernised to permit abortion in the desperate circumstances outlined in the poll, the debate on liberalisation isn’t going to stop. For pro-choice campaigners, it’s merely an achievable short-term goal and a staging post; a tactic to establish a first breach in the wall as they know they cannot win public support for abortion on demand at this point in time.

  • file

    The father might be in the room too – so that is three people, all with rights.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    The Poll clearly shows that there is huge Public Support to introduce a Bill at the Assembly and change the NI Abortion Laws on the above issues. I do not see much of a political risk for any of the NI Political Parties to follow this route and carry out the wishes of the substantial number of people who wish for this change !

  • Croiteir

    Why didn’t they ask if it should be decriminalised for men?

  • chrisjones2

    No..they are still ‘occasions of sin’.

    The Stoops figures are especially shockjing

  • chrisjones2

    Different abortion law….. the law here abuses victimises and tortures women

  • chrisjones2

    Yes iti’s a right for the woman to choose what happens with her body

  • chrisjones2

    Because they are genetically programmed to as part of natural selection. Thats not the issue .

  • chrisjones2

    No ….until the baby is born just one person with the rights – the woman

  • Jim M

    I think they mean putting a stop to women ever being prosecuted as a result of their own abortion (as happened in a recent case here). But yes, it’s potentially confusing.

  • file

    According to which code of morality? The only relevant right is a woman’s right to refrain from having sex if she does not want to become pregnant.

  • file

    But it is not her right to choose what happens to the separate life that is within her body. Killing a child one week after birth is murder; killing a child one second after conception is also murder. So let’s just call it that and admit openly that what is advocated is a special legal right to commit murder.

  • Granni Trixie

    What is even more interesting is that during the troubles Amnesty decided it wasn’t not its place to take a stand on issues such as punishment beatings.

  • Jim M

    Really? Jesus…

  • Zorin001

    And if she is raped? After all she has given no consent to become pregnant, what are her rights in that case?

  • Zorin001

    “Killing a child one week after birth is murder; killing a child one second after conception is also murder.”

    One is a fully formed and viable baby, the other barely a collection of cells.

    I would ask if you could see the difference but I feel that while I’m approaching this from a scientific you are coming from a religious one and we are unlikely to meet in the middle.

  • Granni Trixie

    To clarify. I believe Amnesty had a rule that it could not campaign on issues within the particular country in which a branch was located, a rule which has changed post troubles.

  • hgreen

    Well then IVF clinics must be full of murderers. I suggest you harass couples getting fertility treatment not some poor teenager who’s been attacked or made a mistake.

  • file

    She has the right to prosecute the rapist. She does not have a right to murder a child.

  • file

    I just reject that argument: the ‘collection of cells’ if left alone in the womb and not killed, is just as viable as the newly-born baby.

  • Gerry Lynch

    “I don’t get the popularity of ‘rape exceptions’ for abortion” – don’ you have a daughter, a sister or a neice?

  • Zorin001

    I’d be interest to see the breakdown of party voters by geographical area, certainly in the DUP’s case.

    EDIT: Actually by religious denomination as well.

  • Jim M

    Gerry, I accept I phrased that badly. What I mean is, I don’t get why more people don’t think about the administrative nightmare ‘rape exceptions’ would create. IMO it would be better to have legal abortion in the first trimester…that way no-one would have to convince some bureaucrat as to their bona fides as a rape survivor.

  • chrisjones2

    Well we could start by believeing women when they say they have been raped … I know that semes shocking but if they say it we accept it

  • chrisjones2

    Thereis no seperate life until a child is born

    One second after conception there is no child …its a cell, nothing more

  • chrisjones2

    But that doesnt alter the womans right to say I dont wto carry this for 9 months

  • chrisjones2

    Dead foetuss may also still show a heat beat …its a chemcial process

  • chrisjones2

    Well lets start with ECHR and the views of the majority of people. And what about the woman who is raped? on the casse where the foetus is dead or inacapable of life? Those areall her righst to choose

  • chrisjones2

    Its not murder and she does have the right. You just dont like that but that frankly is your problem, not hers.

    By the way …we are beginning to see again why Disqus banned you for trolling

  • file

    Disqus has no idea why they banned me, and neither does Slugger. Tis a mystery – like the beginning of life. My personal details (emails and ips address) appeared automatically as posts after a couple of posts under my old name, and after that I was banned, but no one could tell me why. Also, if the opinions are genuine, is it actually trolling?

  • hgreen

    Of course it would be better to have legal abortion in the first trimester. While important, the rape scenario is being used to highlight how ludicrous the current legislation is here in N.I..

  • file
  • file

    I don’t want to harass anybody. I just want people who advocate abortion to admit to themselves what it actually is: i.e. murder.

  • Katyusha

    The political risk is if a party like, say, SF, introduce such a Bill, the DUP will block it to appeal to their hardline support – both for Christian conservative reasons, and also just to be seen to fight something that was proposed by SF. And so no Bill is passed, Northern Ireland does not move forward to anywhere, and the will of the reasonable majority is ignored. As is par for the course in NI politics.

  • grumpy oul man

    So you have no problem with abortion after rape! Since the women did not choose.

  • grumpy oul man

    Bit of a change from your earlier post !

  • grumpy oul man

    Could we see some scientific proof for your claims.
    I am reminded of a poster i seen in the seventies,
    It showed a man whose belly was swollen like a pregnent women and the text read

    IF MEN COULD GET PREGNANT THEN ABORTION WOULD BE A SACRAMENT.

  • grumpy oul man

    Then how many abortions does God carry out. A very large percentage of foetus (is that the right term) are lost in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

  • grumpy oul man

    Please explain. I was unaware that men could have abortions!

  • Jim M

    Nice smear Chris. I have no problem believing women who have been raped. I would also believe someone who said they were poor, but if I worked in the dole office I wouldn’t be allowed to take that at face value. Inevitably some people will lie and there will be an atmosphere of suspicion and cynicism towards women talking about rape. Far better not to focus on ‘rape exceptions’ as a short term goal, but to be honest and go for abortion on demand (but with a smaller ‘window’ than the UK – obviously FFA is the exception and you’d need a doctor to sign off).

  • Croiteir

    indeed

  • Croiteir

    Well if you want that then you would want no law on abortion

  • grumpy oul man

    could you please explain your original post?

  • babyface finlayson

    Granni
    Yes I am pretty sure I remember that from my brief period of membership.It did throw up anomalies such as you mention.
    I suppose it made a certain amount of sense in a way,both to protect members, and avoid the first order of business being the split.
    I did not know they had dropped it.

  • Granni Trixie

    They came for the Jews? It was inexcusable.

    That said, I do support Amnesty for the good they do across the world.
    Nobody’s perfect.

  • Croiteir

    It means that any man who aids an abortion would still be criminalised, it s also nonsensical in itself as it means, to me anyway, that there is no point of a law on abortion, unless of course the desired outcome is abortion on demand up to birth.

  • Croiteir

    only in this case if such a majority exist then it is the will of an unreasonable majority

  • grumpy oul man

    I still dont understand your post. Of course there is need for a law. If there was none then of course you could have a abortion whenever and if the law here changes then anybody involved in abortions woild be covered by it male or female.

  • babyface finlayson

    Granni
    Maybe you are right.
    Certainly if Amnesty as a whole was ignoring what was happening here, though I don’t recall if that was the case.

  • Croiteir

    It is very easy – you are a criminal if you take part in an abortion which men can do. If you don’t understand that then I cannot help you any further.

  • Croiteir

    She does not have that right

  • Croiteir

    So abortion up to the time of birth

  • Croiteir

    No she does not have that right no matter how many times you say it.

  • Croiteir

    No – just an ad hominem attack to try and shut you up

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Then the simple solution as both partners in Government would be for SF to let the DUP bring forward this Bill in the Assembly ! Like I said I do not see any risks to the DUP Vote Base regarding the issue !

  • Granni Trixie

    I campaigned against punishment beatings during the troubles. An aspect of this was to get the phenomenon of informal (unjust) policing recognised given the tendency was to look the other way.
    So we challenged th CAJ as well as Amnesty without success, the latter did so on grounds that the Amnesty rule was that they could not campaign on issues within their own country. Not the finest hour of either of these ‘justice’ groups.

    There is no maybe on this one.

  • Zorin001

    She most certainly does have both the right and the ability, though she has to travel across the water to do so if she lives in NI.

  • Zorin001

    Democracy in action Comrade. I don’t like the result of Brexit but I have to accept it, same rules apply.

  • ruhah

    The interesting thing is.. the choice argument originally admitted personhood (see Judith Thomson 1971) but claimed it was a justified abortion rather than the fetus becoming a homicide victim. Killing the unborn didn’t violate it’s right to life.

    To protect life, we must build agreement on the fetus as a rights-bearer. And enact laws which link the unborn within communities of right-bearers. Eg disability, gender, etc etc. Hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth against Sally Phillip’s documentary.

    Then the terrible anomaly of one person freedom to take another person’s life in utero will grow more and more disturbing. History won’t be kind to the abortionists.

  • John Collins

    Are you saying the unborn child has no rights ,say, five minutes before they are born. Because even those of us who are far from being religious fanatics would disagree with you on that.

  • John Collins

    I find it amazing that when a suggestion that a data base of every new born child’s DNA should be put in place in the ROI was made, there was uproar. Big concerns were raised about civil liberties etc. Yet it could have been instrumental in immediately identifying rapists and might force these potential criminals to think again before they do this awful deed.

  • Croiteir

    Yes – rules must apply

  • Croiteir

    That is what she must do then, as others must do also in other scenarios

  • Croiteir

    Well then I can no longer help you

  • Katyusha

    Indeed. Democracy is the tyranny of the majority, after all.

    Which makes it a good thing that the rights of the unborn are enshrined in the constitution of Ireland, but even that only requires a simple majority vote – not a qualified majority – to change.

  • grumpy oul man

    And if abortion is legalised then anybody assisting in procuring one or assisting someone to have a abortion, man or women would not be guilty of breaking any law because they would not be breaking any law.

    Is that simple enough for you to understand!
    And yes i don’t think you can help me as you seem a little confused.

  • Croiteir

    You clearly are too confused to help as the question was not saying that as it specified women only – hence the query. I do hope that makes it clearer for you.