Ireland's 8th Amendment Referendum

Discussion in 'News, Politics, Science & Religion' started by Triage, May 8, 2018.

  1. Triage

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    An up-and-coming referendum in Ireland is a massive issue of contention at the moment, and it's one that's electrifying my country. Today was the deadline to join the Register of Electors, the register that allows you to vote in the referendum. Since I turned 18 recently, this referendum will be my first chance to cast a ballot as a citizen of Ireland. As it is my first vote, I wish to be informed on what I am voting on. I want to write this to inform you guys and inform myself.

    The 8th Amendment (officially Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution or Bunreacht na hÉireann) is the constitutional acknowledgement that an unborn, either an embyro or foetus, has the same right to life as its mother. It guarantees that the law respects, defends and vindicates the unborn's right to live.

    This ensures that, unless the mother will die as a result of the birth (through illness, or suicide), then the child must be born. This stands true if the child bears fatal foetal abnormalities, if the child is to be born with incurable illness or disabilities, or if the mother is a victim of rape and forced to bear the child. Unless the mother will die, then abortion is strictly against the Constitution of the State.

    The Referendum seeks to open this Article to legislative change. As such, the referendum has turned into a Pro-Choice v Pro-Life debate. The morality, both religious and humanitarian, of the referendum is casting fire through all walks of life, animating my country's population to levels only seen in the Same-Sex Marriage referendum of 2015.

    The Pro-Choice side of the line seeks for the Referendum to pass and for, in their words, the "draconian abortion regime" in Ireland to come to an end. They wish for the referendum to pass so that new legislation, articles that are more thoughtful and less discriminatory in nature, can be written into the Constitution. They feel that to repeal the 8th is to protect the rights of women and place the choice of what to do with their bodies firmly in the hands of the women. Alongside this, it offers more options and less stress/discomfort to pregnant women undergoing the trauma of unwanted pregnancy.

    The Pro-Life side of the line seeks for Article 40.3.3, or the 8th Amendment, to remain as it is. They see the equal right to life between the mother and the unborn to be a just system and wish to see it stay Constitutional. They feel that, if the 8th were to be repealed, then abortion will become reminiscent of the system in place in the USA - "abortion on demand". They value the potential life of the unborn strongly.They also claim that, with the already declining population in Ireland, a further 10% forecasted decrease in birth rates as a result of abortion can only hurt Ireland.

    If the 8th Amendment is repealed, then legislation will be changed. This referendum is the first step in the door. The legislative changes to be made if the Amendment is repealed is still a heavily debated topic; the Pro-Life side argue that the legislation will be too open and careless, while the Pro-Choice side argue that it will create a more fair and forward-thinking Ireland.

    Ireland's Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has the task of writing up preliminary legislature to outline what the legislative changes would be if the Amendment is repealed. The Government has signaled that, if the 8th is indeed appealed, then the termination of birth up to 12 weeks will be permitted. A certified Medical Practitioner must confirm and certify that the unborn has not exceeded the 12 week mark. Simon Harris is also to bring forth a package of measures before the Irish Government to reduce the amount of crisis pregnancies in Ireland through increased obstetric care, counseling and contraception.

    My Thoughts:
    I will be voting in favour of repealing the amendment. Personally, I feel that the choice of what to do with their body should solely be in the hands of the mother. As an 18 year old male, I feel that this entire referendum should be a woman-only vote in the first place. I value the lives of children, however I personally hold no sentimentality toward a foetus that resembles little to no characteristics of a child - this is the main issue of contention in this entire referendum, however, and I can see both sides. Personally, I do not recognize the 'potential' of an unborn as grounds of dismissing the medical rights of a woman in my country. Abortion happens regardless of our laws; those that seek it simply go to countries like England. As such, I see zero harm in decriminalizing it and creating legislature to regulate it on our own terms.

    I hope this was informative. I'd love to read your thoughts on the matter. As I see both sides of the referendum, I will not debate or attempt to counter points maliciously as that doesn't really interest me. ^^
    Dj Slimey likes this.
  3. Zerzon97

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    Feb 5, 2016
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    Nice and cool. I don't like politics nor do i like humans Reee. But i am human yes i am.
  5. Dj Slimey

    Dj Slimey
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    Jan 31, 2016
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    Somehow I thought that this was already a thing.. maybe that was AU?
    I'm not entirely sure which way is good or bad.. I'm partial to both sides.. but Idk. xD
  7. Foly

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    Mar 3, 2015
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    How do I pronounce Referendum