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Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy

Referendum on the Twenty-Fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy) Bill 2001

A referendum on a proposal to change the Constitution in relation to the law on abortion was held on 6 March 2002.

The Bill contained the proposed changes in the Constitution and the proposed text of the Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy Act which, if passed, would be the law on abortion. If people voted Yes in the referendum and if, subsequently, the Human Life in Pregnancy Act was passed, then:

  • the right of a pregnant woman to avail of abortion if she is suicidal would end;
  • there would be a new legal definition of abortion;
  • medical procedures necessary to save the life of the mother would not be considered to be abortion in its criminal sense.

The proposal was not approved by the people. For further information about the votes cast, see -,1894,en.pdf

Further Information

The Referendum Commission provided the following information to the public.

Information Booklet

The All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution Abortion - Fifth Progress Report (external link)