The 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution:
'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.'
The Irish Constitution recognises the right to life of the unborn child, and protects that right, along with the equal right to life of the mother. On 25th May, the Irish people will vote in a referendum on whether to remove that protection and allow the legalisation of abortion. We at ‘London Irish United For Life’ (LIUFL) urge people to vote “NO” and keep the right to life in the Irish Constitution.
The abortion law the Irish government plans to introduce if the 8th Amendment is repealed would be one of the most 'liberal' in Europe. Like the British Abortion Act, it would allow abortion up to viability (around 24 weeks) on vague mental health grounds, but it would also allow abortion for any reason whatsoever during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. There is no reason, no matter how trivial or abhorrent, that would not be grounds for abortion during the first three months.
When the 1967 Abortion Act was passed in Britain, most people believed it would allow a relatively small number of abortions. Instead the number of abortions quickly soared. The numbers more than doubled between 1968 and 1969, and increased steadily over the following years, peaking in 2007 at 219,454. Today there are close to 200,000 abortions every year in Britain, one abortion for every 3.9 live births.
In 2012, even the Abortion Act’s sponsor Lord Steel said, “I never envisaged there would so many abortions.”