Dokumentation af Irlands historie
Af Paul-Frederik Bach
Hjemmeside    English section

Abortion Referendum 2002-03-07

The Ballot Paper

Brúigh anseo don leagan Gaeilge

Do you approve of the proposal to amend the Constitution as set out in the undermentioned Bill?

Twenty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy) Bill.

The referendum proposes to add two new subsections to Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution. It acknowledges the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn.

A new Article 40.3.4 states: "In particular, the life of the unborn in the womb shall be protected in accordance with the provisions of the Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy Act, 2002."

A new Article 40.3.5 proposes that this Act cannot be changed unless it is approved by the people in a new referendum.

The main provisions of the Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy Bill are:

  • The threat of suicide, based on the X case, will be removed as a ground for abortion;
  • Abortion will be defined as the intentional destruction by any means of unborn human life after implantation in the womb. (This definition presumes that the IUD and the morning-after pill will have legal protection);
  • A procedure carried out by a medical practitioner at an approved place - to be laid down by the Minister by regulation after the referendum - to prevent a real and substantial risk of the loss of a woman's life, other than by selfdestruction, will not be regarded as an abortion;
  • Anyone aiding or procuring an abortion will be liable for up to 12 years' imprisonment.

The right to information and freedom to travel for an abortion are restated in the Bill.

Voters reject Government abortion proposal:

Yes: 49.58 %
No: 50.42 %
Turnout: 42.89 %

Statement by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD on the outcome of the referendum

The people have now had their say in the most democratic way through yesterday's referendum and their view must be respected. Their decision presents some challenges for us as legislators which I personally hope we can work to address. I am conscious here today of an ever present challenge for us as legislators, and for opinion formers and society. In conjunction with presenting this constitutional proposal, the Government has also set out to implement a key recommendation of the Oireachtas All Party Committee to address the human needs surrounding those situations where Irish women travel abroad to have abortions.

Hjemmeside    English section
Opdateret d. 1.1.2009

Opdateret d. 7.5.2002