Eighth Amendment: 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.

New Amendment: Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.

The Church used its influence in 1983 to engineer the eighth amendment to the Irish Constitution which in a sweep banned all abortion by equalising the right to life of the mother with her unborn baby at all stages of pregnancy.  It had to be watered down a bit over the years.  For example, abortion can be granted on mental health grounds if there is a risk of suicide which amounts to abortion on demand in practice for there is no such thing as a woman with a simple mental health problem or suicidal feeling that is solved by abortion. No mental health issue is that simple and straightforward.  This rule came in in 2013 with the Protection of Human Life During Pregnancy Act.

The eighth amendment was eliminated as a result of a landslide referendum in 2018.  The result is the liberalisation of abortion.  While repealing the eighth did not directly legalise abortion it took away protection for the child in the womb.  The people choose to let women kill their babies in the name of choice (abortion is not murder but many yes voters do think it is!).  They say they made it about the women's choice but in fact it is about their own.  They chose to give the choice. Most who voted yes voted for a woman alone to have the choice and said they always knew that yes was right.

Many voted yes on the grounds that Ireland exported abortion so a yes vote only means it will be doing itself what it has Britain and other countries doing.  Against this it is argued that Irish law does permit women to travel for abortion but it does not follow that this makes the law responsible for abortion.  It is not about permitting or even endorsing abortion.   It is about a tolerance that it justified by the fact that it makes no sense to start interrogating women who are going abroad to see if they are looking for an abortion overseas.  That is not workable and too much of an invasion of privacy.  As this tolerance is justified by it being a waste of time to police a million women over a few thousand who will be having an abortion and also by the fact that the women will lie and still have their abortions is justified the right word?  No.  The tolerance only happens because it has to not because it is justified.  Calling it justified is passive aggressive.  Why?

If it is the woman's body and she has the right to do what she wishes or needs to do then how can a man have a say? It is logic. It is none of a spouse's business if you want your tonsils out for fun.

If you say capital punishment is murder but you want to give the state a vote allowing it to inflict it as it is its choice

A lot of pro-choice people say they regard abortion is immoral but they are besotted with the notion: "I have my opinion and you have yours. I am entitled to mine and you to yours."  The answer is that it is not about opinions.  It is not about you or me.  It is about what is right and sensible.

The referendum made the people the legislators, the ones who were giving babies in the womb the same protections as tumours.  Animals in Ireland apart from rats, mice, foxes, mink and grey squirrels, have more protection than babies in the womb.

The Catholic Church takes in federal money and then discriminates against those who need an early abortion for important medical reasons. Women should let friends, family members, and employers know that they do not wish to be taken to a Catholic-affiliated hospital under any circumstances. Women must work to change public policy so that Catholic discrimination ends and the financial support for it ends as well. The Church admits that even if abortion saved lives it would still ban it. Do you really want people with that attitude looking after you? 

Legal rights to abortion are not all that matters. We will not be living in a country that accepts women until we accept abortion as a human right and a moral good for it is the woman's body. I am appalled at how most yes voters said they agree and yet we still have appeals from them to make abortion "rare" in the South. In effect they are saying, "restrict abortion and let those who are not looked after go to the UK and have their abortion." Jim Wells compares abortion to the Nazi holocaust. This is hate speech. We need to remember that pro life rubbish makes women feel like murderers and is it any wonder if some of them contemplate suicide or punish themselves? What is the point of telling protesters to keep a distance from abortion clinics when hate speech is tolerated? Love the sinner and hate the sin is sheer nonsense for almost always it is about what somebody does to somebody else - ie something that is not your business. Actually, treating the pregnancy matter as a baby will only traumatise the mother. It would be a failure to support her. Doctrines such as that babies need to be forgiven for their sin and baptised do not help either. What kind of God judges somebody who believes they know they do right? Even God does not have the right to override a conscience. And in fact abortion does not hurt him so he should butt out too.

I agree with Dawkins that Christianity is not truly a good religion and statements such as that providing abortion rights makes you a killer and a Herod are not acceptable and prove what he says. In the aftermath of the historic and stunning referendum result the next step needs to be giving women who have a foetus removed the right to prosecute anybody who says such things. Pro life have caused many suicides by making women feel they murdered their children.


In the wake of the abolition of the eighth, here are some predictions:

Prediction one: Abortion will be more liberalised in the Republic in a year or two.

Prediction two: The GP service framework will fail and abortion clinics will have to come in.

Prediction three: The new wording in the constitution is problematic and case law will have to understand it a different way than from what we think. The wording is, “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies.” The may is significant - it does not require the law to regulate.  Even without it and if it read "Provision will be made" I'd see that as only saying that doctors have a legal duty of care to abortion clients. It does not say that abortion in itself is the laws business. In fact, there are many who feel that abortion is a private matter and thus governments need to butt out as their business is public order not private morality.

Prediction four: It makes no sense to ban euthanasia - you choosing when to die -  when you let parents decide to have an unborn baby euthanasied for it is going to die anyway.  Even if the slippery slope is not created that does not change the fact that it should be.   It can and might happen. 

Prediction five: It is argued by many that abortion is to be legalised because women are doing it anyway and we need to be sure they are safe in their own country. From that it follows that the pro-life who ignore this argument are being callous.  Thus increasing anger towards pro-life can be expected,


Take abortion.  If it is taking an innocent human life then what about the mother's right to not let her body be used to keep a baby alive that she does not want?  The right to life is no good without a right to decide for your own body.  Abortion then in this light would seem to be as bad as it is good and thus not a moral matter.  It is obvious you have the right to disconnect your body even from a friend even if he needs to stay connected to stay alive when you didn't promise to keep him alive.  Even if it is for a week you still have the right to cut off the life support.  Abortion is defined as the direct killing of a baby in the womb.  But if the intention is to cut off life support then what other way can it be done?  This is a case where the killing is the cutting off and thus it cannot be murder.

Another issue is that abortion at an early stage is not really abortion at all for the pregnancy matter is really a seed.  While eggs and zygotes are seen as seeds it is more complicated than that.  A seed in reality is more than a cell or couple of cells.  It is a pretty advanced and complicated entity.

And another, abortion of a baby which has barely any brain developed is not abortion at all.  The abortion of a baby that is going to die in the womb anyway is not abortion either.  It is euthanasia.  It would be irrational to ban euthanasia with your consent and then to allow the euthanasia of a dying baby in the womb who cannot consent.


Exit polls indicated that around 90 per cent of voters aged 18 to 24 voted Yes.   It is vital that we remember most YES voters voted because they always knew that it is the woman's body and thus the woman has the right to choose. That needs to be respected. Also, not all No voters are anti-abortion - they just didn't think change was necessary or they viewed the proposed laws as unsuitable. The twelve week abortion on request proposal put many of them off.  We can be sure the real number of supporters of abortion rights is far far higher than the 66.40% for yes. The new wording for the constitution does not clearly give the government the right to interfere with abortion or limit it. I read it as saying it is the governments job to let the woman choose and make sure her medical care is up to standard. For the government to impose limits on abortion is the government recognising the woman's right to choose what happens to her body and then denying it. It cannot be had both ways.

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