europe

Abortion a divisive issue in Ireland

Voters to decide whether to remove the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution that prohibits abortion

19:35 January 30, 2018

THE REFERENDUM: Voters in the Republic of Ireland will decide on whether to remove the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution that prohibits abortion.

WHAT IT SAYS: The Eighth Amendment reads: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

WHEN IS THE VOTE: The exact date hasn’t been set yet, but is most likely to occur on May 25. More than 3.2 million voters over the age of 18 are legally entitled to cast ballots.

THE GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSAL: The government is proposing to introduce legislation to allow for abortion without restriction for 12 weeks; and then for “fetal abnormality”, in the cases where women’s health was put at risk, but not in cases of disability.