Why Ireland Needs to Repeal the 8th

So, let’s talk about why we, as a nation, need to Repeal the 8th. If you’re not from Ireland, the “8th” is about the Eighth Amendment in the Irish constitution which equates the right to life of a woman who is pregnant with that of a foetus. Passed by a referendum in 1983, the 8th criminalises abortion in all cases apart from those where to continue the pregnancy would result in loss of a woman’s life. The 8th amendment in recent times has created an extortionate amount of debate and controversy. There are two sides to this debate, Pro- Life who favours to protect the amendment and Pro-Choice who seeks to repeal the 8th so that every woman in Ireland has the option to seek an abortion if they wish.

I am pro-choice. Being pro-choice is the middle ground. It is walking in another woman’s shoes and being able to understand their decision. It is their body and their choice. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion which I think many anti-campaigners have tried to perceive us as. You can be pro-choice and be morally opposed to getting an abortion and you can choose not to get one. What you cannot do is dictate the reproductive choices of another person. In my opinion, that is the basis of being pro-choice. I strongly feel that it is not the place of a government dominated by males to decide what all women in the state do with their bodies. To deny a woman who was raped the right to abort a foetus and force her to carry it to term is inhumane. To deny a woman the right to abort a dead foetus in her womb and force her to carry it to term is inhumane. To deny a woman the right to abort a foetus that will definitely only live for minutes outside the womb is inhumane. 

Let’s get one thing straight, Pro-lifers are not pro-life, they’re pro-foetus. They prioritise a bunch of cells over a woman and her physical as well as mental health. There has been a considerable amount of talk about the option of simply putting the baby up for adoption after the pregnancy but forcing a woman through emotional, physical and mental strain for nine months cannot be allowed to happen anymore. Adoption is always an option? Tell that to the thousands of children waiting to be adopted all over the country. So many children don't have homes and are suffering but you want to save a seed and intentionally place them in that situation? All of these pro-lifers are always campaigning with photoshopped pictures of butchered fetuses on posters and spewing lies online when they could be 1) volunteering at women's or homeless shelters 2) advocating for cheap birth control and family healthcare 3) actually adopting or fostering babies. Ever witness them do any of that? Didn't think so. I'll believe you are pro-life when you care about the lives of the children AFTER they are born, and not just when they are in the uterus.
Oh, and can we get rid of this "You shouldn't have had sex if you don't want a child." argument. A child isn't a punishment for sex and sex shouldn't be used as a fear tactic. 

I was at a debate in college last semester where the topic was concerning Repealing the Eighth and one of the prominent counter arguments was; well what do we have to replace it? And if there is nothing to replace it, will it lead to abortions on demand? This is a myth that has emerged that, if the Eighth Amendment were to be removed, something would have to be put in its place in the Constitution. Without something to substitute it, it has been betrayed that we would then have a liberal abortion regime where women can have abortion on demand or use it as a form of contraception. Any common-sense observer should be able to see that this simply won’t be the case. It's funny, the pro-life campaign feels women do not want abortions then another argument is that if you make it legal everyone will want one..... A floodgate of abortions will not be opened if the 8th is repealed. What repealing the 8th means is that it allows woman wishing to terminate a pregnancy to do so in their own country surrounded by family, friends and health care professionals. 

For years, women in Ireland have been forced to travel to the United Kingdom and further if they wish to terminate a pregnancy. It has been confirmed that between January 1980 and December 2015, at least 166,951 women have travelled from Ireland to another country to seek an abortion. An average of 10 Irish women a day travel to the UK to seek an abortion. This number could be extortionately higher due to the fact that the women may not give their real address. Leaving Ireland results in the lack of a proper aftercare system, a financial burden between flights, somewhere to stay etc. without even mentioning the trauma both physically and emotionally of having an abortion in an unfamiliar country. This opinion that having an abortion is shameful and must be shunned needs to be eradicated. It is something that must be discussed and must be brought to the political agenda. I feel it is completely and unanimously necessary that Ireland removes abortion from criminal law and regulates it like any other medical procedure. 

"I don't like abortion" Well then don't have one. 
It is 2017 and it is time for women to be treated as real people in society rather than just vessels that can carry children.  Abortion rates will stay the same whether the 8th is repealed or not. You can never ban abortions, you can only ban safe abortions.


  1. i'm american and i didn't even know abortion was illegal in ireland wow


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