Does abortion happen in Ireland?

Fact: Abortion is legal and happens in Irish hospitals but only when the pregnant woman’s life is directly threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy. In 2017 twenty-five abortions were recorded in Irish hospitals for this reason.

Fact: The Constitution 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 to leave the country for care 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.

For those who can not leave the country, personally importing the abortion pill by post is an alternative. This is illegal and there are risks associated with taking medicines without the oversight of a doctor.

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

If the public vote yes

The intention of the planned legislation is that 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 her 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 medical team.