Government Booklet On Irish Abortion Referendum To Go To All Irish Households

DUBLIN, February 20, 2002 ( – A 20-page government Explanatory Booklet on the abortion referendum will be delivered to all 1.35 million Irish households prior to the March 6 referendum. A copy of the booklet, which will outline the current legal situation, and the new referendum proposals and their outcome, was also posted on the government’s referendum website.

The booklet makes it clear a “yes” vote in the referendum will result in “a new legal definition of abortion” which excludes protection for the human embryo prior to implantation by defining abortion as “the intentional destruction by any means of unborn human life after implantation in the womb of a woman.” Moreover the booklet also makes clear that the new law to be established through the referendum would permit the abortifacient morning-after pill. “It is clear that using the morning after pill is not abortion in the criminal sense under the Human Life in Pregnancy Act,” it says.

The booklet notes that one of the reasons for having the referendum was to “remove the threat of suicide as a ground for a legal termination of pregnancy.” Pro-life critics of the referendum suggest pressure on government to hold a referendum which protects all unborn life and does not discriminate against pre-implantation embryos. Pro-lifers who support the referendum believe that this is the only chance to remove the threat of suicide as grounds for legal abortion.

See the government’s referendum website at: