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Irish abortion vote

  • Mai 2018

On Friday, May 25th 2018 the Irish electorate voted to repeal the Eight Amendment of the constitution, which gave equal constitutional protection to the right to life of the mother and the unborn child. The overall result was 66.4% in favour of repeal (“Yes” vote) and 33.6% against (“No” vote). A notable feature of the result (based on exit poll data) was the majority repeal vote across different social categories, such as age, gender and location. In only one county (of 32) – Donegal, in the north-west of the country – was there a majority No vote. Interestingly, the 2018 referendum vote pattern was the 1983 referendum (which put the amendment in the constitution in the first place) result flipped over.

This vote paves the way for the legislature to bring forward law providing abortion services in Ireland. While the timeframe and exact form this law will take is not yet clear, it will allow abortion on demand up to 12 weeks and abortion after 12 weeks on some other grounds, such as a threat to the life of the mother.

Religious groups such as the Catholic Church did not welcome the outcome of the referendum. While respecting the democratic process, the Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin pointed out that the referendum result will take away legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, a key tenet of Catholic teaching. Also, the Primate noted that the outcome meant that the pro-life movement would have to continue its efforts to protect unborn life from intentional destruction and to support women facing crisis pregnancies.

For more detail, see:
The Citizen’s Assembly, Thirty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution Exit Poll, Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

31 May 2018