25 May 2018 brought a landslide victory for the Yes campaign to repeal the eighth amendment in the Irish constitution, which effectively gave equal rights to the pregnant woman and the fetus. Before the repeal victory, abortion was only permitted if the woman’s life was at risk but not in cases of rape, incest or foetal abnormality. Such strict laws had dire, and in some instances, fatal consequences for women seeking abortion services. Many women were forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods or to seek safe abortion services in the UK.
Following years of campaigning and perseverance, a seismic change in public opinion on abortion had taken place. With the 8th amendment now repealed, Ireland’s Government has committed to delivering legislation which legalizes abortion care on a woman’s own indication in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
As of January this year, the Irish Family Planning Association provides early medical abortion up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion care is free for women living in the Republic of Ireland. For more details please visit www.ifpa.ie.
Meet some of the people who tirelessly campaigned to repeal the eighth amendment, what it means to them and the future of women and girls in Ireland.
Content originally published on the ippf.org website.