Proposed 25th Amendment 2002

On Tuesday, 2nd October 2001, the Government published their proposed amendment to the constitution.

The amendment, which was seen by pro-life activists as a limited abortion amendment, was defeated. This was the second attempt to introduce limited abortion since 1992 and the people had rejected each attempt. Pro-abortion campaigners, such as the shadowy Alliance for Choice, tried to spin the result as a rise in support for abortion but this was dismissed by political commentators, not least because of the insignificant campaign on the ground by those working for abortion. An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said that several factors had combined to produce the NO vote and recognised the substantial pro-life NO vote.

As part of the amendment “package” the Fianna Fail coalition gave 25 million Euros in taxpayers funds to the Crisis Pregnancy Agency (CPA) - a statutory body whose function was “a reduction in the number of women with crisis pregnancies who opt for abortion by offering services and supports which make other options more attractive”. The subsequent actions of the CPA were in direct contradiction to that aim.

On the 6th March 2002, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution (Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy Act 2002), was rejected by the people by a narrow margin (10,000 votes).