Macquarie University
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'Fighting them every single step of the way’ : the struggle for reproductive rights in the Republic of Ireland

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posted on 2022-03-28, 14:07 authored by Emily Jane Nagle
Abortion was criminalised throughout the Republic of Ireland from 1983, when the 8th Amendment was introduced to the constitution. The 8th Amendment recognises that the unborn child holds an equal right to life as the mother, and so abortion became punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment. Continuing to this day, the 8th Amendment forces women to either travel outside of the Republic for terminations or to take the medical abortion pill illegally in their own homes. Women who seek abortions have become invisible and are kept in silence under the 8th Amendment, despite it ensuring Ireland’s status as a prolife nation. Since 2012 there has been a surge in pro-choice activism in Ireland and a renewed push to repeal the 8th Amendment. Through an examination of the new wave of pro-choice activism, this thesis considers how activists draw on current political and social events to break the silence on abortion and push to repeal the 8th Amendment.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter One. Niamh -- Chapter Two. Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate -- Chapter Three. See no, hear no, speak of no abortions -- Chapter Four. Making the personal political -- Chapter Five. Social and political events influencing Ireland’s pro-choice movement -- Conclusion -- Bibliography -- Glossary of Irish terms.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 88-93

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Anthropology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Lisa L. Wynn


Copyright Emily Jane Nagle 2016. Copyright disclaimer:






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