The Proposed Change

Polling day: 25 May 2018

On 25th May 2018 you are being asked whether or not to delete the present Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution and replace it with a new Article.

The Present Article 40.3.3

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State and another state. This subsection shall not limit freedom to obtain or make available, in the State, subject to such conditions as may be laid down by law, information relating to services lawfully available in another state.

The Proposed Article 40.3.3

Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.

Frequently asked questions

Click here to answers to some of the common questions asked about the referendum process, and the Referendum Commission.

The legal effect of a YES vote

If a majority votes Yes, this will allow the Oireachtas to pass laws regulating the termination of pregnancy. These laws need not limit the availability of termination to circumstances where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. Any law may be changed by the Oireachtas. If challenged, any law may be declared invalid by the courts if it conflicts with the Constitution.

If a majority votes Yes, the current law, including the law on travel and information, will remain in place unless and until it is changed by new law or is declared invalid by the courts.

The legal effect of a NO vote

If a majority votes No, then the present Article 40.3.3 will remain in place unchanged. Laws may be passed to provide for the termination of pregnancy only where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother including the risk of suicide. Any law may be changed by the Oireachtas. If challenged, any law may be declared invalid by the courts if it conflicts with the Constitution. The constitutional provisions on freedom to travel and information will remain as they are now.

Check the Register

Registration to vote is closed. If you are not sure whether you are registered to vote in the referendum, or whether or not you are registered at the correct address, you can find out very simply by checking the electoral register.