Aiken AR, Johnson DM, Broussard K, Padron E. Experiences of women in Ireland who accessed abortion by travelling abroad or by using abortion medication at home: a qualitative study. BMJ Sex Reprod Health. BMJ Sex Reprod Health. 2018;

Biggs MA, Upadhyay UD, McCulloch CE, Foster DG. Women's mental health and well-being 5 years after receiving or being denied an abortion: A prospective, longitudinal cohort study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017; 74:(2)169-78

Central Statistics Office. Chapter 8: Religion. 2016. (accessed 19 June 2018)

Four reasons Micheál Martin's speech on abortion is significant. 2018. (accessed 21 June 2018)

Micheál Martin says making up his mind on abortion has been a ‘long and challenging process’. 2018. (accessed 21 June 2018)

Foster DG, Steinberg JR, Roberts SC, Neuhaus J, Biggs MA. A comparison of depression and anxiety symptom trajectories between women who had an abortion and women denied one. Psychol Med.. 2015; 45:(10)2073-82

Goenee MS, Donker GA, Picavet C, Wijsen C. Decision-making concerning unwanted pregnancy in general practice. Fam Pract.. 2014; 31:(5)564-70

Halvorsen L, Nerum H, Øian P, Sørlie T. Giving birth with rape in one's past: a qualitative study. Birth. 2013; 40:(3)182-91

Holmlund S, Kaljonen A, Junttila N, Räihä H, Mäkinen J, Rautava P. Psychological ill-being experienced by first-time mothers and their partners in pregnancy after abortion: A cohort study. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol.. 2014; 35:(4)132-9

Investigation into the safety, quality and standards of services provided by the Health Service Executive to patients, including pregnant women, at risk of clinical deterioration, including those provided in University Hospital Galway, and as reflected in the care and treatment provided to Savita Halappanavar: Executive summary and recommendations.Dublin: HIQA; 2013

Health Services Executive. Investigation of incident 50278 from time of patient's self-referral to hospital on the 21st of October 2012 to the patient's death on the 28th of October, 2012. 2013a. (accessed 21 June 2018)

Health Service Executive. National Consent Policy. 2013b. (accessed 8 June 2018)

Heaney S. The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes.Dublin: Field Day;

Irish Family Planning Association. Abortion in Ireland. 2014. (accessed 19 June 2018)

LoveBoth. Home. 2018. (accessed 21 June 2018)

MacLoughlin C. The coroner's report of the inquest on the death of Savita Halappanavar.Galway: Coroners Service; 2013

McCarthy J, O'Donnell K, Campbell L, Dooley D. Ethical arguments for access to abortion services in the Republic of Ireland: recent developments in the public discourse. J Med Ethics. 2018;

Nerum H, Halvorsen L, Straume B, Sørlie T, Øian P. Different labour outcomes in primiparous women that have been subjected to childhood sexual abuse or rape in adulthood: a case–control study in a clinical cohort. BJOG. 2013; 120:(4)487-95

NicGhabhann N. City walls, bathroom stalls and tweeting the Taoiseach: the aesthetics of protest and the campaign for abortion rights in the Republic of Ireland, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. 2018;

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives.Dublin: NMBI; 2014

Pereira J, Pires R, Canavarro MC. Psychosocial adjustment after induced abortion and its explanatory factors among adolescent and adult women. J Reprod Infant Psychol.. 2017; 35:(2)119-136

Quinley KE, Ratcliffe SJ, Schreiber CA. Psychological coping in the immediate post-abortion period. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014; 23:(1)44-50

Raja S, Hasnain M, Hoersch M, Gove-Yin S, Rajagopalan C. Trauma informed care in medicine: current knowledge and future research directions. Fam Community Health. 2015; 38:(3)216-26

Referendum Commission. The Independent Guide to the Referendum on the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy. 2018. (accessed 21 June 2018)

Roberts SC, Belusa E, Turok DK, Combellick S, Ralph L. Do 72-hour waiting periods and two-visit requirements for abortion affect women's certainty? A prospective cohort study. Womens Health Issues. 2017; 27:(4)400-6

Rocca CH, Kimport K, Roberts SC, Gould H, Neuhaus J, Foster DG. Decision rightness and emotional responses to abortion in the United States: A longitudinal study. PLoS One. 2015; 10:(7)

Save The 8th. Home. 2018. (accessed 21 June 2018)

Seng JS, Low LM, Sperlich M, Ronis DL, Liberzon I. Prevalence, trauma history, and risk for posttraumatic stress disorder among nulliparous women in maternity care. Obstet Gynecol.. 2009; 114:(4)839-47

The Attorney General v X and Others. 1992;

The Citizen's Assembly. First Report and Recommendations of the Citizen's Assembly: The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. 2017. (accessed 19 June 2018)

Together For Yes. The National Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. 2018. (accessed 21 June 2018)

Wosu AC, Gelaye B, Williams MA. Childhood sexual abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder among pregnant and postpartum women: review of the literature. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2015; 18:(1)61-72

Repealed the Eighth

02 July 2018
Volume 26 · Issue 7


As an Irish midwife who has experienced both sides of the abortion debate, Maeve O'Connell has a unique insight into recent events in Ireland. She explains what the referendum result meant to her

The 26 May 2018 was a historic day for the women of Ireland and for the nurses, midwives and doctors who care for them. Following a democratic referendum, the people of Ireland voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution by a two-thirds (67%) majority, after a 64% turnout. This means that accessing abortion before 12 weeks' gestation is no longer a crime in Ireland. Box 1 illustrates the 36th Amendment, which has been proposed to replace the Eighth.

The 36th Amendment will replace the Eighth and states that ‘Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies.’

Article 40.3.3, also known as the Eighth Amendment, was voted into the Irish Constitution by referendum in 1983. It stated that:

‘The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right’.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month