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