What’s Ireland’s abortion history in a nutshell?
1861: The Offences Against the Person Act means that all abortions in Ireland are illegal. This is a British law as Ireland is under occupation at this time.
1921: This law is maintained when Ireland gains independence, even though the UK at this stage reviewed and repealed their law on the matter.
1983: This is a turning point. Women and human rights activists felt things would change, contraception is being legalised, divorce law is on the horizon and, surely, abortion laws would catch up with the rest of the world? No. In 1983 we voted in a referendum to change the Irish Constitution to include the 8th Amendment/include Article 40.3.3 to stipulate the ‘right to life of the unborn’ to be equal to that of the ‘mother’.
1988: High court ruling finds that the supply of information is also illegal, but this ban is appealed.