Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland

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Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland
To specify that the prohibition of abortion would not limit freedom of travel in and out of the state
LocationRepublic of Ireland Ireland
Date25 November 1992 (1992-11-25)
Results
Votes %
Yes 1,035,308 62.39%
No 624,059 37.61%
Valid votes 1,659,367 95.71%
Invalid or blank votes 74,454 4.29%
Total votes 1,733,821 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 2,542,841 68.18%

The Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act 1992 (previously bill no. 25 of 1992) is an amendment to the Constitution of Ireland which specified that the protection of the right to life of the unborn does not limit freedom of travel in and out of the state. It was approved by referendum on 25 November 1992 and signed into law on 23 December of the same year.

On 25 May 2018, a referendum was passed to replace the current provisions on the right to life of the unborn, on travel and on information with a clause allowing legislation on the termination of pregnancy.

Background[edit]

The Eighth Amendment in 1983 had added a subsection to the Constitution acknoweldging the right of the life of the unborn. In Attorney General v. X, commonly known as the X Case, the Attorney General had secured an injunction in the High Court preventing a 14-year-old girl who had become pregnant from rape from obtaining an abortion.[1] While the Supreme Court reversed this injunction in March 1992, on the grounds that there was a risk to her life from suicide, they held that it would otherwise have been lawful. This amendment addressed this, so that the constitutional protection of unborn life could no longer restrict the freedom to travel.

It was one of three amendments which were put to a referendum on 25 November 1992, the same day as a general election. the Twelfth Amendment Bill, which would have held that the possibility of suicide was not a sufficient threat to justify an abortion, was rejected; the Fourteenth Amendment was approved, allowing freedom of access to information with respect to abortion.

Changes to the text[edit]

Insertion of a new paragraph in Article 40.3.3º:

This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State and another state.

The subsection relating to abortion had originally been added by the Eighth Amendment in 1983. With the approval of the Thirteenth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment, the full text of Article 40.3.3º read as the follows:

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.

Oireachtas debates[edit]

A previous amendment to the constiution had been proposed in a private member's bill by Labour Party TD Brendan Howlin on 12 May 1992.[2] This proposed to insert the following subsection after Article 40.3.3º:

4º Sub-section 3 of this section shall not be invoked to prohibit or interfere with the exercise of the right—
i.to travel to and from the State for the purpose of receiving services lawfully available in other jurisdictions, or
ii. to obtain, within the State, information and counselling relating to such services.

The provision of such information and counselling may be regulated by law.

This was defeated at Second Stage the following day by 62 votes to 67.[3]

The Thirteenth Amendment was proposed in the Dáil by Minister for Justice Pádraig Flynn on 21 October 1992.[4] It was passed in the Dáil on 22 October and in the Seanad on 30 October.[5][6] It then proceeded to a referendum on 25 November.

Result[edit]

Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland referendum[7]
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 1,035,308 62.39
No 624,059 37.61
Valid votes 1,659,367 95.71
Invalid or blank votes 74,454 4.29
Total votes 1,733,821 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 2,542,841 68.18
Results by constituency[7]
Constituency Electorate Turnout (%) Votes Proportion of votes
Yes No Yes No
Carlow–Kilkenny 81,192 69.2% 32,818 20,479 61.6% 38.4%
Cavan–Monaghan 79,004 70.3% 28,116 23,680 54.3% 45.7%
Clare 65,579 67.9% 25,918 16,171 61.6% 38.4%
Cork East 58,160 71.9% 21,345 18,823 53.1% 46.9%
Cork North-Central 68,209 66.6% 25,456 18,440 58.0% 42.0%
Cork North-West 44,578 75.4% 15,524 16,171 49.0% 51.0%
Cork South-Central 75,747 71.1% 33,876 18,437 64.8% 35.2%
Cork South-West 44,627 73.8% 16,381 14,460 53.1% 46.9%
Donegal North-East 46,934 67.2% 12,253 17,537 41.1% 58.9%
Donegal South-West 48,494 62.1% 10,933 17,382 38.6% 61.4%
Dublin Central 59,941 61.3% 21,957 13,617 61.7% 38.3%
Dublin North 62,917 69.0% 32,687 9,758 77.0% 23.0%
Dublin North-Central 64,349 71.7% 30,826 14,316 68.3% 31.7%
Dublin North-East 57,888 69.6% 29,742 9,947 74.9% 25.1%
Dublin North-West 57,951 65.3% 25,640 11,374 69.3% 30.7%
Dublin South 84,767 70.4% 45,734 12,888 78.0% 22.0%
Dublin South-Central 63,316 64.5% 27,987 12,015 70.0% 30.0%
Dublin South-East 68,366 58.9% 27,966 11,417 71.0% 29.0%
Dublin South-West 69,654 61.9% 32,154 10,077 76.1% 23.9%
Dublin West 57,755 65.0% 26,112 10,682 71.0% 29.0%
Dún Laoghaire 85,924 68.8% 46,769 11,269 80.6% 19.4%
Galway East 42,604 68.9% 15,459 11,847 56.6% 43.4%
Galway West 78,539 63.8% 30,048 17,308 63.4% 36.6%
Kerry North 48,606 69.7% 16,732 14,951 52.8% 47.2%
Kerry South 44,034 70.2% 16,028 12,464 56.3% 43.7%
Kildare 77,798 65.3% 35,503 13,907 71.8% 28.2%
Laois–Offaly 77,226 70.2% 28,903 22,213 56.5% 43.5%
Limerick East 71,004 68.6% 28,774 18,143 61.3% 38.7%
Limerick West 44,768 71.4% 15,289 14,508 51.3% 48.7%
Longford–Roscommon 60,452 74.8% 23,079 18,953 54.9% 45.1%
Louth 65,666 67.3% 25,330 17,335 59.4% 40.6%
Mayo East 43,392 68.0% 15,094 12,232 55.2% 44.8%
Mayo West 43,407 68.4% 16,332 11,140 59.4% 40.6%
Meath 77,900 66.0% 32,099 17,434 64.8% 35.2%
Sligo–Leitrim 60,675 70.5% 22,573 17,314 56.6% 43.4%
Tipperary North 42,633 75.0% 16,103 13,872 53.7% 46.3%
Tipperary South 56,705 70.3% 20,064 18,000 52.7% 47.3%
Waterford 63,692 67.8% 25,879 15,589 62.4% 37.6%
Westmeath 46,128 67.1% 16,494 12,892 56.1% 43.9%
Wexford 75,553 69.6% 30,644 19,331 61.3% 38.7%
Wicklow 76,707 67.9% 34,687 15,686 68.9% 31.1%
Total 2,542,841 68.2% 1,035,308 624,059 62.4% 37.6%

Deletion[edit]

On 25 May 2018, the Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018 was passed by referendum.[8] After it was signed into law, it replaced the previous text of Article 40.3.3º with the following text:[9]

3º Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelleher, Lynne (21 February 2010). "Whelehan 'regrets' hurt caused in X case". Irish Independent.
  2. ^ "Private Members' Business. - Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1992: Second Stage". Houses of the Oireachtas. 12 May 1992. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1992: Second Stage (Resumed)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 13 May 1992. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1992: Second Stage". Houses of the Oireachtas. 21 October 1992. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1992: Committee and Final Stages". Houses of the Oireachtas. 22 October 1992. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1992: Committee and Final Stages". Houses of the Oireachtas. 30 October 1992. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Referendum Results" (PDF). Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. p. 49. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Referendum Commission Detailed Results". Referendum Commission. 26 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 9 March 2018.

External links[edit]