The life-saving legacy of the 8th Amendment

Emma’s Story

We all know someone protected by the 8th Amendment. There are so many stories of mothers and parents who contemplated abortion, but the unavailability of abortion in Ireland enabled them to change their minds.

The 8th created a climate whereby unborn babies were valued, where pregnancy was seen very positively, and where medical practitioners did their best for pregnant mothers and their babies.

We have only to look to our nearest neighbour to see the detrimental effect abortion has on society:
• For every four babies born in Britain, one is aborted¹
• Almost 200,000 British babies are aborted every year²
• Tragically, 38% of British women who seek abortion have had at least one previous abortion²
• British abortions skyrocketed 400% in the 5 years after legalisation³

The abortion rate for Irish women (carried out mainly in Britain) is a small fraction of the rate in European countries with legalised abortion. An independently produced actuarial report compared the number of Irish women who travel abroad to avail of abortion to the abortion rates of women in these other countries. The report conservatively estimated that at least 100,000 babies have been saved from abortion by the 8th Amendment in the last two decades. We should be immensely proud of the fantastic impact of the 8th Amendment while it was in the Constitution.  Our work now involves restoring the life-affirming culture that was at the heart of the Amendment.  See Report

  1. Office for National Statistics, England & Wales:
  2. Abortion Statistics, England & Wales:
  3. Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. The Registrar General’s statistical review. Supplement on abortion. London: HMSO, 1968-73.