Since 1 January 2019, the law allowing access to abortion in the Republic of Ireland is the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018). This legislation followed the 66.4% yes vote in the May 2018 referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment. The Citizens` Assembly votes in favour of introducing unrestricted access to abortion. The case led to attempts to pass three other amendments to the Irish constitution. One of them, who declared that suicidal intentions were not grounds for abortion, failed. The other two insisted on allowing Irish people to travel for abortions and on allowing information about legal abortion to be disseminated in other countries. More than 3,000 women travelled to England and Wales for abortions last year, while many more bought abortion pills online. Abortion services are expected to begin in Ireland in January. July 2013: President Michael D. Higgins signs the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act. The Act aims to implement the 1992 Supreme Court judgment in case X and the 2010 European Court of Human Rights in cases A, B and C v. Ireland and to allow legal access to abortion when the life of a pregnant woman is in danger. 25 public hospitals are listed as appropriate facilities where abortion can be performed.

A 1988 case against a group of clinics that offered abortion counseling made it illegal for anyone to counsel or support a woman who wanted to travel abroad for an abortion. Some women circumvented these restrictions by travelling to the UK on „shopping trips“, while others died without the means or ability to travel because they were forced to carry a foetus. In the 1980s, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children opposed the dissemination of information about abortion services in the United Kingdom under the provisions of Article 40.3.3º. In a case they brought, later named Attorney General, AG (SPUC) v. Open Door Counselling Ltd. and Dublin Wellwoman Centre Ltd. (1988), the High Court issued an injunction prohibiting two counselling centres from assisting women to travel abroad for abortions or from informing them of methods of communication with these clinics. SPUC v. Grogan and SPUC v. Coogan targeted student unions and sought to ban them from disseminating information about abortion in the UK.

January 2016: The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) raises a number of concerns about the impact of Ireland`s abortion laws on girls` human rights. In its concluding observations, the Government recommends: In November 1992, the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution was proposed, which would have eliminated the risk of self-destruction as a ground for abortion, but was rejected by referendum. It is estimated that between 1980 and 2018, around 170,000 people travelled from Ireland to seek legal abortion. In other words, it would have allowed abortion in more limited circumstances than those authorized by the Supreme Court. This amendment was rejected and, therefore, the status quo was maintained, i.e. dismissals are allowed if there is a real and significant danger to the life of the mother, including the risk of suicide. More than 170,000 women and girls have travelled from Ireland to another country for an abortion since 1980, the vast majority going to the UK. A campaign to liberalise abortion is gaining momentum after Savita Halappanavar died in a Galway hospital after being denied an abortion during a miscarriage. Another turning point came in 2012, when dentist Savita Halappanavar, 31, suffered a miscarriage in hospital, but was denied an abortion because a fetal heartbeat could still be detected. Despite several days of seeking treatment, she developed sepsis, suffered multiple organ failure and died of cardiac arrest. Doctors almost certainly misunderstood the law, but Halappanavar`s death gave more women in Ireland the opportunity to talk about maternity care and abortion, and women`s movements began sharing their stories anonymously.

The Pro-Life Amendment Campaign was formed in 1981 to fight the possibility of a court ruling in Ireland that would allow abortion. Prior to the 1981 general election, the PLAC lobbied Ireland`s main political parties Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Labour to call for the introduction of legislation to amend the constitution to prevent the Supreme Court from interpreting the constitution to grant a right to abortion. The leaders of all three parties – Charles Haughey, Garret FitzGerald and Frank Cluskey – agreed, although there was little consultation with full members of their parties. [40] All three parties had been in government for eighteen months, but it was not until late 1982, shortly before the collapse of a Fianna Fáil minority government, that proposed wording for the amendment was proposed. After the election, the new Fine Gael-Labour government, on the advice of Attorney General Peter Sutherland, proposed alternative wording, but there was no majority in the Dáil and the wording proposed by Fianna Fáil was accepted. He inserted the following paragraph in the Constitution: Abortion had been banned in Ireland by the British Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The Eighth Amendment was added to the Constitution by referendum in 1983 after concerns were raised that laws prohibiting abortion could be found unconstitutional on the basis of a right to privacy. In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled in Case X that a thirteen-year-old girl who became pregnant as a result of rape could be allowed to have an abortion in the state because of a danger to her life.

In 1992 and 2002, unsuccessful constitutional referendums were held to exclude these grounds for abortion in future cases. Between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2018, abortion in Ireland was regulated by the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act 2013, which made abortion illegal unless it was performed following a medical procedure performed to save the woman`s life. January 2018: On January 29, the cabinet formally authorizes a referendum on abortion, to be held in late May or early June 2018. January 2014:Am 01. In January 2013, the Law on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy was promulgated by decree. The law maintains the criminalisation of abortion in Ireland and only allows abortion if a pregnant woman`s life is in danger. The corresponding sections of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 are repealed by the Act. The Yes vote allows the Dublin government to introduce laws allowing abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and, in exceptional cases, between 12 and 24 weeks. In one case in 2010, the Irish government denied Siobhán Whelan an abortion despite being diagnosed with fatal fetal syndrome. She had to travel from Ireland to the UK to terminate her pregnancy. In June 2017, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that Ireland`s abortion law violated Whelan`s human rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, subjected Whelan to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and called for legalization and access to safe abortions. [64] [65] The verdict was welcomed by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

[65] The laws in Northern Ireland were even stricter. Although the UK Abortion Act 1967 established the right to abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy and later in certain circumstances, Northern Ireland`s devolved government did not pass the law, and under the law, anyone who receives an abortion can be punished with life in prison. The three amendments include: – Freedom to travel out of state for an abortion – adopted – Freedom to receive or provide information about abortion services outside the state under certain conditions – adopted – Judgment withdrawn in case X to abolish suicide as a ground for abortion in Ireland – dismissed After repeated meetings for five months and the hearing of doctors, Legal and ethical experts published a report recommending that abortion should be legal in Ireland up to 12 weeks or at any time during pregnancy if certain conditions are met, such as a threat to the life of the woman or foetus. Following this report, the Irish government discussed the issue and eventually passed the referendum which was passed in 2018. The UN Human Rights Committee finds that the criminalisation and ban on abortion in Ireland violated Siobhán Whelan`s rights. The UN Human Rights Committee states that Ireland`s abortion ban exposes a woman carrying a fetus with a fatal abnormality to discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Left: People leave messages and flowers in front of a monument to Savita Halappanavar a day after a referendum to legalize abortion in Dublin, Ireland, passed by referendum on May 27, 2018. Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters With the anti-abortion stance of the Irish courts appearing to be set in stone, Irish women have begun to turn to the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice to persuade them to ask the Irish courts to change their position. As a member of the Council of Europe and the European Union, Ireland is contractually bound to follow the judgments of these European courts.

In the early 1990s, when European courts issued rulings requiring Ireland to allow people to provide information about abortion or how to travel abroad to get one, the law changed accordingly.