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6 - The 1983 Pro-life Amendment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2023

Mary E. Daly
Affiliation:
University College Dublin
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Summary

Following the enactment of the 1979 Family Planning Act, conservative groups sought to reassert Ireland’s traditional morality by demanding an amendment to the Irish Constitution guaranteeing the right to life of the ‘unborn’. The Supreme Court had cited similar arguments to Roe v. Wade in the McGee case, and it was alleged that similar arguments might result abortion being legalised in Ireland. The amendment was passed in September 1983. Following the 1967 British Abortion Act, a growing number of Irish women were travelling to Britain for abortions and this abortion trail grew in the 1980s and 1990s, despite restrictions on abortion referrals. In 1991 the Supreme Court ruled in the X case that abortion was legal in order to save a woman’s life. Three referenda held in 1992 affirmed the right to information about abortion and the right to travel for an abortion and rejected a proposal to reverse the Supreme Court judgement. This referendum was again rejected in 2002. The Pro-Life Amendment hindered the treatment of pregnant women and was a factor in the death of Savita Hallapanuvar in 2012.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • The 1983 Pro-life Amendment
  • Mary E. Daly, University College Dublin
  • Book: The Battle to Control Female Fertility in Modern Ireland
  • Online publication: 11 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314886.007
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  • The 1983 Pro-life Amendment
  • Mary E. Daly, University College Dublin
  • Book: The Battle to Control Female Fertility in Modern Ireland
  • Online publication: 11 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314886.007
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The 1983 Pro-life Amendment
  • Mary E. Daly, University College Dublin
  • Book: The Battle to Control Female Fertility in Modern Ireland
  • Online publication: 11 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314886.007
Available formats
×