Does abortion happen in Ireland?

Abortion is legal and happens in Irish hospitals but only when the pregnant woman’s life is directly at risk if she continues with the pregnancy. In 2017 twenty-five abortions were recorded in Irish hospitals for this reason.

The Constitution also allows women to have abortions outside of Ireland. This limits access to those who can afford to travel and have the necessary documentation to safely leave the country and return. For a woman who has the leave the country. there is no continuity of care from her doctor. Abortions also tend to happen later because of necessary delays in making financial, travel and care arrangements.

An increasing number of women order abortion pills over the Internet, without advice or support from their doctor. These women currently break the law and risk a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Banning abortion does not reduce the need for care. The best way to reduce need is through accessible, affordable contraception and education.

If the public vote yes

The planned legislation becomes law, abortion care will be;

  • safe and legal,
  • will happen earlier in a woman’s pregnancy,
  • will happen in Ireland, and
  • under the care of her doctor.

If a woman’s developing baby has a serious condition and will die in her womb, a woman could decide to end her pregnancy, in Ireland and under the care of her own doctor.

If a woman has become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, she can access care in a way that protects her safety and dignity.

Further reading on this topic

I am a mother of 3, with her own home, job security and a supportive and loving husband, but a crisis pregnancy can happen to anyone, and everyone’s perception of a crisis is different. To outsiders the news of my pregnancy would have been met with congratulations, warm wishes and perhaps the odd jibe about how our television mustn’t work, but my husband and I were absolutely devastated.

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