Should we Retain or Replace the 8th Amendment?

Image result for article 40.3.3 of the constitution

Source: The Irish Times

The rights of the unborn is one of the most controversial topics in Irish Politics at the moment. So when we discussed this topic in our Constitutional law module this week, it was no surprise that it would be a heated discussion.

Although I have obviously heard the various arguments about repealing the 8th Amendment, I only had a vague idea about which way I might vote in a referendum on the issue. I had never thought about HOW exactly it should be rolled out if it was passed. But in our lecture this week, we were asked to form our  own opinions on which way abortions should be intertwined into our laws and given 3 options:

  1. Retain Article 40.3.3
  2. Repeal Article 40.3.3 and replace it with a new provision
  3. Repeal Article 40.3.3 from the Constitution and provide access to abortion through our Legislation

So this is was the question that faced me and I was unsure how to answer. But I read some interesting articles and videos which helped formulate some of my ideas on the issue, that you might also find interesting.

The Irish Times noted that a recent poll taken on Repealing the 8th had some interesting results:

  • In favor 67%


    Source: www.

  • Against 21%
  • Don’t Know 12%

It seems that issues would arise from erasing Article 40.3.3 completely, as the articles on information and freedom to travel would be undermined in it’s absence. However, if it was simply replaced, it would cause great controversy about it’s exact wording.

I think repealing the 8th Amendment and replacing it with legislation would be the best possible option in overcoming this issue. This issue requires a detailed summary of the conditions that such an allowance would have and the Constitution is not the right place to set such specific standards.

Whichever path is taken by the Government, is there really going to be an outcome that doesn’t cause a public outcry from some part of our society?

Until next time,



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