Does the Eighth Amendment save lives?

People campaigning to retain the Eighth Amendment claim that Irish law ‘saves lives’.  They say our restrictive laws result in fewer women having abortions, and that more women will decide to end pregnancies if abortion is a safe and legal option in Ireland.

Fact: There is no record of the numbers of women leaving the country for abortion or importing pills from abroad. There is no way of knowing how many women have been prevented from having abortions.

Fact: Legal restrictions on abortion care do not lead to fewer abortions. Introducing laws to allow abortion do not lead to an increase in the number of women needing abortion care (World Health Organisation).

Fact: There is no link between fertility rates in European countries and their laws on abortion. For example, abortion is accessible and legal in France, and on average women in France have more children than women in Ireland. (Eurostat)

Further reading on this topic