Referendum on the Eighth Amendment

Introduction 

This is a resource for thinking about how to vote in the May 25threferendum.

We are not providing arguments for one side or the other or both, but trying instead to construct an ethical framework for the discussion.  

    To what extent is this an issue where we should use rational argument?

    What should we do about the powerful feelings that the topic provokes in us?

We try to say something about the kinds of arguments offered in support of the yes/no answers, and to cast a spotlight on the grounds and criteria that can be used to settle the question. It is a very emotive issue and many people feel it very personally.

The UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL), regardless of the specific views of its members, is considering the debate from a reflective distance.  We appreciate that this, in itself, might seem offensive to some people, but we believe that the approach is in line with the role that CEPL can play in Irish public life.

If you want to make use of this website, our advice is to treat it as a sort of road map that might help you to think about the arguments that you can use to determine a route to a decision given the sorts of feelings and motivations that you have. We are not advocating any particular stance.  People who already have a strong conviction about how to vote may find this website less useful than people who are still deciding.
 

Prof Rowland Stout - Director of UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL)

(emails to cepl@ucd.ie)

 

Understanding the Arguments 

We have drawn up a flowchart to help organise and make clear all the reasons people give for or against Repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Argument Roadmap for the Referendum on the Eighth Amendment

 

Articles by Centre members

Ethical arguments for access to abortion services in the Republic of Ireland: recent developments in the public discourse.

One of the Centre's members is an author of an article that came out this week, giving an overview about how discussions about the termination of pregnancy has changed in Ireland in recent times, and about how Ireland's has now gotten to the stage of having a referendum. 

 

Resources for Voters

We will be adding more resources as they are produced by members of our Centre up to the referendum itself on May 25th.

 

A critical look at some prominent arguments for the Yes and No side

 

How we make ethical decisions - Passion, Reason, Trust, and Habit

 

Annotated list of other resources available online

 

 

The use of images of mothers and babies in the campaigns