A demonstration for the legalization of abortion in Ireland after announcing that there would be a referendum on September 30, 2017 in the streets of Dublin
The Irish government announced on Wednesday the organization of a referendum on May 25 on the liberalization of abortion, currently prohibited by the eighth amendment of the Irish Constitution except in case of mortal risk to the mother.
„I just signed the decree for the organization of a referendum on the repeal of the eighth amendment to the constitution, so that the parliament can legislate on the issue.“ The referendum will take place on May 25, announced Eoghan Murphy, Irish minister of the Housing, on Twitter.
The referendum organization was approved by the two chambers of the Irish parliament, which voted for a law. The Irish Senate adopted the law text on Wednesday by 40 times against 10.
Eoghan Murphy said that the polling stations will be open from 07H00 to 22H00 on May 25, and invited the Irish to register on the electoral lists. The deadline is until May 8.
The organization of a referendum was a promise of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who came to power in June, and considered the law „too restrictive.“
Abortion was always illegal in Ireland, but its prohibition was only inserted in the Constitution in 1983, after obtaining 67% of the votes in a referendum.
The eighth amendment guarantees the „right to life“ of the embryo, without prejudice to the „right to life of the mother“.
The exception to that prohibition – when there is a risk to the life of the mother – was added in 2013. But rape, incest or malformation of the fetus are not legal reasons for abortion, and such an intervention constitutes a crime that can be be punished with up to 14 years in prison.
Thousands of Irish women travel abroad every year, mainly to the United Kingdom, to legally abort.
The consultation will take place a few weeks before the visit of Pope Francis in Ireland on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families, on August 25 and 26, 2018 in Dublin.