Abortion in Ireland

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Abortion[1] is terminating a pregnancy resulting in the loss of a child. It is a very controversial topic due to the fact that every person has their own personal views on it. Over the years, it has become a more open ended discussion and there are many debates about it. Individuals have become more comfortable with the idea and are more engaged in discussing it. Individuals are seeing both the pros and cons of abortion. In this Wiki Page, I will focus primarily on abortion in Ireland and the difficulties women face in having the option of having an abortion.

Types of Abortion

There are two primary types of abortion. The first type of abortion is a Medication Abortion which usually involves a pill. The second type of abortion that is most commonly done is the Surgical Abortion. These two types of abortion are primarily done before the 24th week of pregnancy.

What Happens During Surgical Abortion
Mifegyne Abortion Pill that Women Use

Abortion Pill

The “Abortion Pill” is one of the more popular ways to have an abortion. Before being able to participate in the process an individual will need to make sure they take their physical tests, have tests done, look at your medical history, and do some paperwork. The first step is taking Mifepristone[2], which blocks the hormone progesterone. The next step is to take misoprostol which empties an individual’s uterus. The waiting time can take up to a couple of hours for your child to be aborted or it can take up to a couple of days. There may be some side effects that will occur. A follow up after 1-2 weeks is necessary to make sure everything went well. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/the-abortion-pill

Surgical Abortion

There are two type of Surgical Abortion which include Vacuum Aspiration[3] or or Dilatation and Evacuation. Vacuum Aspiration is when the fetus is removed by gentle suction. Dilatation and Evacuation is when the pregnancy is removed by using narrow forceps which are passed through the neck of them womb. This is also followed by some gentle suction.

Abortion in Ireland

Abortion in Ireland[4] is illegal, and it is the most restrictive place in the world. The only way to have an abortion is if the mother is at high risk. To ensure a safe abortion, it may be best to travel to another country. Even with cases of rape or incest it is still illegal. In parts of Ireland, including Northern Ireland there are severe consequences to obtaining an abortion. Ireland offers counseling services to ensure that women are talked out having abortions. Even with being able to abort a child if a woman is under physical harm, it still takes a lot of work. They have to be examined by two different doctors for clarity before they get approval to go through with the abortion.

Ireland Flag

Women Getting Around Laws

Women that have Abortions in Northern Ireland could face up to 14 years in prison for doing so. An organization called Women on Web[5] has been giving out abortion pills since 2006 to women that cannot access it legally. Over 50,000 people have used this resource to access birth control. Women have been getting arrested for using this resource, however it is legal and there should be no consequences for using this service. There was a lot of research that was done on why women use the abortion pill and how they felt after having an abortion. The women mostly used the pill because they used their contraception incorrectly and they felt relived after going through the process.

Legalization of Abortion in Ireland

The Eighth Amendment in Ireland that was made in 1983 banned abortion. Since then the debate about the legalization of abortion has been a very brutal and hostile one. It has been one of the most controversial topics and it is now being brought up again. There will be 99 members that will be discussing whether to repeal or affirm the eighth amendment that Ireland has in place. Although, the law has permitted women to get an abortion if their life is in danger, they will still need to see several doctors for approval. This causes emotional, physical, and health related stress on the women and may cause damage in the future. Since the laws are so strict, many women travel abroad to get treatment done.

Fighting for Abortion Rights in Ireland


The Women in Ireland have had to go through a lot of obstacles to be able to have an abortion. They are finally speaking out and wanting the rules to be changed. Most of the time, they have to go through third parties that are probably not that safe. Ireland has the strictest rules pertaining to abortion. There are a lot more privileges and options in other countries like the United States and Canada. Activists are trying their hardest to make it a more open subject in Ireland and to make some decisions on whether to change the amendment that pertains to abortion or not. This is an ongoing battle that has been polarizing in the Irish community. In conclusion, Ireland is a unique country in regards to abortion since they have such strong views on it.


Lancet. (2013, July). Ireland's abortion law: A start but not enough. The Lancet (British Edition), 382, 182. Retrieved December 9, 2016.

Taylor, M. (2015, July). Women’s right to health and Ireland’s abortion laws. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 130(1), 93-97. Retrieved December 1, 2016.

The Abortion Pill. (2016). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/the-abortion-pill

Sifferlin, A. (2016, October 18). How Irish Women Are Getting Around Abortion Laws. Retrieved December 9, 2016, from http://time.com/4531429/medication-abortion-ireland/

What is Abortion? (2015). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from https://www.bpas.org/abortion-care/considering-abortion/what-is-abortion/

What is Abortion? (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from https://www.mariestopes.org.uk/women/abortion/abortion-facts/what-abortion