8 Reasons To Vote No

There are many reasons to vote against this referendum on May 25th. Here are eight.

1. Love them Both

The 8th protects the right to life of both mother AND baby[1]. It doesn’t favour the baby over the mother - instead it asks us to love and protect them both. That’s what it means to be a progressive and compassionate society.

2. Keeping women safe

Women are safe in pregnancy in Ireland under the 8th amendment according to the United Nations[2] – and doctors say they have never been prevented from giving a woman any life-saving treatment she needed when it was required.[3] Repealing the 8th won’t make women safe – it will just legalise abortion.

3. Humanity of the child

The 8th protects preborn babies that are undeniably human and recognises the human right to life of these babies. Technology means we can no longer deny the humanity of a baby whose heart begins to beat at 21 days and who is perfectly formed at 8 weeks.

4. Don’t discriminate against people with disabilities

Preborn babies with a disability are legally protected under the 8th amendment. In contrast, 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted in Britain.[4] This also means the 8th has helped us to develop better treatments for babies born with disabilities. For example, a leading heart specialist recently observed that, because we don’t abort babies with congenital heart disease “it allows us to build up a particular expertise here in dealing with those sick newborns".[5]

5. Abortion numbers are falling

The 8th has led Ireland to support women, by offering real, life-affirming choices instead of pushing abortion. The number of Irish women travelling for abortion has fallen by 50% since 2002. If we repeal the 8th we would get the British model of abortion – that means one in five babies being aborted before birth. It would lead to 10,000 MORE abortions every year. No reasonable person should want more abortions to happen.

6. Saving women from an exploitative industry

The 8th protects women from the exploitative abortion industry, and from the harmful effects of abortion. Abortion hurts women. A 2008 study conducted by Dr. David Fergusson and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that women who had abortions had rates of mental disorder that were about 30% higher. [6] In 2017, Marie Stopes, a massive British abortion chain, were caught paying staff bonuses if they encouraged women to have abortions, according to the British Care Quality Commission.

7. Better care for women and families

The 8th has encouraged Ireland to seek better care when a crisis arises in pregnancy – for example, developing perinatal hospice care to help parents and babies where a life-limiting diagnosis has been made, instead of cruelly describing these babies as a ‘fatal abnormality’ and ignoring the distress abortion brings for women in these situations, usually involving a late-term abortion. A recent study showed that women who had an abortion after a diagnosis of a severe disability (anencephaly) were much more likely to suffer depression and despair.

8. A better answer

The 8th has encouraged us as a society to listen to women and to understand that women need a better answer than abortion. Laura Ní Chonghaile became pregnant after rape and says that the 8th protected her and her daughter. "She helped me heal, she brought light after the darkness," she says. "Almost 8 out of 10 women in Ireland do not seek abortion after rape. We should punish rapists, not babies. Help women, not rush to assume abortion is the answer."


[1] The 8th states: ‘The states acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

[2] ] Report on Maternal Mortality by World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank, 2007

[3] Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jan 8, 2013.

[4] (National Down Syndrome Cytogenic Register (NDSCR) for England and Wales for 2013)

[5] Dr Paul Ozlislok, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, Morning Ireland, RTÉ, Nov 17th 2017

[6] David M. Fergusson, L. John Horwood and Joseph M. Boden, “Abortion and mental health disorders: evidence from a 30-year longitudinal study,” The British Journal of Psychiatry (2008), 2008, pp. 444-451