If you’re looking to campaign to repeal the 8th amendment in Ireland, I’ve gathered some resources that I’ve found helpful in answering questions, or encouraging further reading. I may edit this post again to add further links/resources as I come across them.
The Guttmacher Institute is a great source for clear, easy-to-understand information and statistics about abortion. https://www.guttmacher.org/united-states/abortion
In particular, I have found this section on waiting periods to be particularly useful: https://www.guttmacher.org/evidence-you-can-use/waiting-periods-abortion. I’ve summarised some of that info myself here: https://www.zenbuffy.com/2018/03/waiting-periods-for-abortion/
Mental health / regret / women hurt
There are a wealth of studies which show that women, by and large, don’t regret their decision to have an abortion, a few of which are listed here:
Mentioned in some of the studies above, and also in another linked below (specific to the Irish situation) is some discussion about why women who do feel sadness and regret may feel this way – it’s linked heavily to a lack of community support, stigma about sex, stigma about their decision, etc.
There’s no links between abortion and breast cancer, failure to conceive later, etc. Abortion itself is not a risky procedure, and has lower rates of risk at all stages than pregnancy.
Abortion as contraception / repeat abortions
There’s a lot of chatter about repeat abortions and the stats are often used to imply that people will frivolously choose abortion, or that they are using it as contraception. People are often using contraception when they become pregnant, and one contraceptive failure doesn’t protect you from further contraceptive failures or make it less likely that it’ll happen to you again. The same logic applies when discussing fatal foetal abnormalities – if you have had a pregnancy where a fatal foetal abnormality has been diagnosed, this doesn’t make you less likely to have another, and may even make it more likely.
Countries where abortion is legal have similar or lower rates than countries without legal abortion, so the evidence from other countries doesn’t support the idea that legalising abortion here would significantly change the number of people accessing abortion. Abortion rates are typically under-reported in countries where abortion is illegal, so the numbers may even be higher than we know for Ireland. Rates of abortion in developed countries are actually in decline in general, and greater access to contraception has led to steady declines in unintended pregnancy also.
- Full text to match executive summary above: https://www.nap.edu/read/24950/…
Notable incidences in Ireland
There’s a number of incidences of the 8th interfering in pregnancy, or the treatment of pregnant women, in Ireland.
- Legal analysis of the above: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/eight-amendment-abortion…
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Hodgers (not directly affected by the 8th, but an example of treatment being denied due to “ethos”)
Implications in pregnancy (consent, etc.)
- National Maternity Strategy