Action for Choice

Action for Choice campaigns for free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland, North and South.

Joint Statement: Repeal the 8th

Joint Statement: Repeal the Eighth Amendment

Monday, October 07, 2013


On the 30th Anniversary of signing the Eighth amendment into our Constitution, October 7 2013, 12 women’s and civil society organisations released a joint statement highlighting the detrimental impact that Article 40.3.3 has on women in Ireland and announcing a national campaign for its repeal. Below is the text of the statement.

“The Eighth Amendment continues to cause great hardship for women in this country. At least 150,000 women have been forced to travel to the UK for an abortion since 1983. Migrant women, women with little or no income, women who are unable to travel for whatever reason, women facing a pregnancy with a medical diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality have all suffered disproportionately over the past three decades.

Article 40.3.3 was a mistake, and continues to be a mistake and a source of confusion and discrimination for women in this country.

We are here today to highlight the failures and inconsistencies of Article 40.3.3 and to state our commitment to working to remove it from the Constitution.

Since the insertion of the Eighth Amendment in 1983, we have had four referendums, with bids to remove suicide as grounds for termination being rejected in both 1993 and 2003.

We have had four reports from expert committees on abortion – with no action until this year.

We have witnessed too many desperate women and girls having to resort to the courts both here and in the EU to determine their right to abortion.

The new legislation, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, prohibits abortion in cases of rape, incest, inevitable miscarriage and fatal foetal abnormality, while women or girls who are suicidal as a result of unwanted pregnancy will most likely travel abroad rather than seek an abortion here under its terms. The new Act ignores the needs of women who decide that having an abortion is in their best interest, and criminalises women and those who support them, including their doctors, if they access abortion here in Ireland.

We know that women have suffered and women have died as a direct consequence of the Eighth Amendment, most recently Savita Halappanavar.

It is time for Art 40.3.3 to go. We hope other like-minded individuals and organisations in the months ahead will join us to work to repeal the Eighth Amendment – and in so doing protect the lives and health of women and girls in Ireland.”


Abortion Rights Campaign

Action on X / Action for Choice


Cork Women Right to Choose Group

Doctors for Choice

Dublin Well Woman Centre

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

National Women’s Council of Ireland

Socialist Party

Termination for Medical Reasons

Union of Students in Ireland


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