1861: abortion is a criminal offence (Offences Against the Person Act, Sections 58 and 59)
1983: Inscription of article 40.3.3 in Irish Constitution
1992: Constitutional Amendment: no limit to have information or travel for the purpose of having abortion
1995: Regulation of information Act (services outside the state for termination of pregnancies)
2018 (ongoing): Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution was repealed by referendum in May 2018. Following this the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 (Bill 105 of 2018) passed through both houses of the government in December 2018. It allows for legal provision of abortion services and repeals the Regulation of Information Act.
Abort-Report: Abortion conditions in Ireland
Specific conditions due to COVID-19

  • Revised Model of Care for Termination in Early Pregnancy issued by the Health Service Executive and Department of Health on 7 April 2020
  • – Introduced model of remote service for the duration of the pandemic
    – Waived two mandatory visits
    – Enabled administration of both medical pills at home up to 9 weeks of pregnancy



Legal conditions

  • Written consent by the woman
  • Pre-abortion examination (for abortion on request only)
  • Mandatory 3-day period between pre-abortion consultation and abortion procedure (for abortion on request only).

Specific conditions for minors

  • Specific legal counselling
  • Mandatory reporting of underage sex (minors under 17) where there are concerns that a minor may be at risk of abuse.
  • Parent’s (or guardian’s) consent required for minors under 16 to have an abortion, except where discretion is given by health care professionals (e.g., a mature 15 year-old).



Abortion legislation | Practical conditions | Abortion statistics | Characteristics of women having induced abortion
Fertility and contraception data | Country-specific characteristics 


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Abort-Report: Medical Abortion conditions in Ireland


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Women either travel to Great Britain for an abortion or order medical abortion via Internet. In Great Britain, 3,092 women from the Republic of Ireland had an abortion in 2017. Approximately 2,000 women may have ordered online abortion pills in 2017. Terminaisons of pregnancy by section of the Act in Ireland

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Not applicable for Ireland

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☷   FERTILITY AND CONTRACEPTION DATA Fertility rates in Ireland


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After a referendum showed overwhelming support in May 2018 and associated legislation was passed in December 2018, abortion is no longer a criminal offence for a woman to access in any situation. However it remains a crime (up to 14 years in prison) to assist in or provide an abortion to someone outside of the specific legal circumstances.


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The slides presented are freely accessible. They may be used, copied, displayed or distributed provided that their source is given


COVID measures taken from the article by Bojovic N, Stanisljevic J, Giunti G. The impact of COVID-19 on abortion access: Insights from the European Union and the United Kingdom. Health Policy. 2021 Jul;125(7):841-858.IPPF European Network – Updated January 2012 (
Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) (
Houses of the Oireachats (
Electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB) (
Tusla – Child and Family Agency (
National statistics, Department of Health
Women help women (
Houses of the Oireachats (,-briefing-document-1-of-2—exhibits-brief.pdf)
The medical independent (
McBride O, Morgan K, McGee H. Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy Study 2010 (ICCP-2010). A Survey of the General Population. Crisis Pregnancy Programme Report No. 24. Dublin: Health Service Executive Crisis Pregnancy Programme (CPP), 2012. (
Houses of the Oireachats (


We thank Áine KAVAGNAGH for her help in data collection.

If you have additional data or if you would like to comment some information, please contact

Page updated in January 2022